As it seems to be a « loving season » in Shanghai I resulted to have many of my students who get pregnant – That just gave me the idea to talk to you a little bit about Pilates and pregnancy.
I will make it very simple and answer the more frequently asked questions-
I’am pregnant, Can i practice Pilates ?
Yes. Pilates method is very well adapted to pregnancy -Pilates technique is based on what we call the « power house » meaning all the core muscles = abdominals, pelvic floor, back muscles- these ones are the foundation of our body : core muscles maintain and support the rest of our muscles, skeleton and organs. Pilates will also helps with stiffness and help develop awareness of your body.
When should I Start Pilates when Pregnant ?
At BelleMaternity Program, and from my midwife training, I usually recommend to start from 12 weeks (end of the first trimester) to avoid any risk . plus it’s the trimester where you’ll feel most pregnancy’s discomfort: nausea, fatigue, fainting, bloating, headaches, peeing all the time, and some more. Usually women are really tired, they tend to sleep a lot, and need extra time to rest; But some women who know their bodies, and have no problem during their first trimester and like to keep on going with their usual exercises such as their beloved Pilates. In those cases, when the practice is anterior to pregnancy, we recommend to continue.
Otherwise: second trimester to the end of the pregnancy is ideal to practice; Pilates can be done until the last day- almost d-day of delivery. Some of my students were in class and delivered the day after.
Is it safe to do Pilates ?
Pilates is the perfect low-impact pregnancy workout, provided by your doctor / midwife, gives you the all-clear to exercise, since it boosts flexibility and balance and prevents back pain by strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles (your abs), which support your spine.
Why is it especially good for pregnant women?
Baby inside the body is moving the heart of gravity from center to the front- so pregnant women will feel more easily back pain, especially into the lower back – As pregnancy goes on, weight is becoming heavier for the mother, and strengthen tummy muscles, will help your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of the growing baby. Hormones make the tissues -ligaments- that connect your bones more pliable in pregnancy, making you more prone to injury.
Strengthen pelvic floor- studies have shown that practice Pilates regularly before, during and after a pregnancy is as effective as pelvic floor exercises. And from my experience i now work and exchange with a nurse in Shanghai, and she strongly recommend Pilates for pregnancies – she even told me that there is a huge difference in pelvic floor rehabilitation between women practicing or non practicing Pilates.