Keeping up with an exercise program can be difficult when you’re pregnant, especially during the first trimester when you might feel nausea and tired. Pregnancy is not the time to get into shape, however it’s the time to optimize health habits and that includes a safe exercise program.
One of the safest and most effective way to stay active is with pilates. This mind&body method of exercise strengthens the most important muscles that you’ll use during pregnancy and labor: your abdominals, pelvic floor muscles and back. Pilates also helps women to stay connected to their changing body, improve posture and reduce pregnancy aches and pains.
”Pilates for Pregnancy” videos and books are not a good way to learn proper movements for a beginner and can easily cause back pain or even Diastasis Recti (=the Rectus Abdominus will begin to separate more than usually). It is not recommended that you begin doing Pilates on your own if you haven’t already worked with the fundamentals. However, Pilates is a great choice during pregnancy if you have an instructor who is skilled to modify your program and knowledgeable about safe movement choices for pregnancy period.
The nature of movement in Pilates exercise is low impact and allows pregnant women to exercise effectively without experiencing any undue stress on the now lax joints, or an increased heart rate. All Pilates movements are very controlled and instructor should pay attention to your posture, alignment and working with the right muscles. Most exercise modifications happen during the second and third trimester period due to the increasing belly size. All Pilates movements at this point are best done seated up right or side lying. In the studio settings there are many apparatus where you can get really good workout without lying on your back – like Wunda-chair, spine corrector, trapeze table and stability ball.
With Pilates you can stay strong and fit throughout your pregnancy. Pilates improves breathing technique, concentration and body awareness, which even help your labor. In a good pregnancy shape you can recover faster back to pre pregnancy figure and shape while enjoying your new life with the baby.