- By ntaifitness
- On 24/06/2019
Upon learning that the woman is pregnant, most couples enthusiastically start planning for her pregnancy and eventual childbirth. Pilates strengthens your tummy, back, and pelvic floor muscles, which are the areas that can cause problems during pregnancy and after the birth. So it's a great exercise to do when you're pregnant, although some of the exercises will need to be modified as you get nearer your due date.
Dawnna Wayburne, Education Director at Iso Fit says: "Pilates routines are ideal for building both the strength and stamina, which a mother will need in labor and delivery. As the expectant mother starts to get larger, Pilates helps not only to support the weight of the baby but also with both balance and flexibility. We generally adapt exercises during the course of the pregnancy to ensure the expectant mother is getting the most from the workout. The other great thing about Pilates is that it can also help to relieve lower back pain, energize the body to fight tiredness as well as help control focus and breathing.
"Unless otherwise advised by their doctor, women can continue with their Pilates routines after the first trimester all the way up until birth. After delivery, we normally advise new mums to wait six weeks until they get back to the mat or reformer. They can then start rebuilding the muscles that were weakened with the weight of pregnancy and the stress of giving birth. We see mothers getting back into shape in no time."
When talking about pregnancy, it is important to know about preconception issues regarding giving birth. A check-up with the physician or midwife would be advisable for the woman in order to face facts on childbirth. Physical preparation is needed for giving birth since this could really change the normal function of the woman's body. A caregiver would be helpful in preparing the woman's body in conceiving, and also impart information concerning potential problems in pregnancy. Anxiety is felt at this point since the woman would really have to follow certain precautions in order to conceive a healthy baby. By seeking advice regarding preconception, safety, lifestyle changes, prenatal vitamins, and the importance of folic acid, the woman could really prepare for giving birth.
In preparing for pregnancy, a change in the woman's lifestyle is needed. Smoking cigarettes is a definite no-no, and also the consumption of alcohol. These addictions can affect the health of both the woman and her unborn baby. A woman might need to lose or gain weight, according to her present weight relative to her height and build. Being too fat or too thin might bring complications for both the woman and the baby. A good start in preparing for childbirth would be to establish a fitness regime for the period of the pregnancy. Asking the physician about nutrition and working out would be recommended for possible questions regarding exercise and food intake.
There are many benefits to practicing Pilates during pregnancy.
Expectant mothers benefit can expect to
- Strengthen the lower abdominal region to support the growing baby and thereby alleviate lower back pain;
- Tone the pelvic floor muscles in preparation for delivery (and aid in recovery);
- Develop an awareness of deep breathing to assist movement, are some of the many
Tips for doing yoga or Pilates
- Aim to do 2 sessions of strength-building exercise per week, with at least one day between sessions.
- If you are just starting, keep your effort at low intensity, building to moderate intensity. Low intensity means you can still talk comfortably while exercising.
- Be mindful of your breathing. This involves exhaling (breathing out) when you are exerting yourself. Your instructor should also include directions on how to breathe when exercising.
- Ensure that your movements are slow and steady.
- After the first trimester, don’t exercise while you are lying on your back because the weight of your baby may push against your blood vessels and cut off supply to your baby or make you feel faint.
- As your baby becomes bigger, your center of gravity changes so it may be more difficult to balance in poses or perform moves that previously you have been able to do. Avoid movements that may cause you to feel unbalanced or to fall.
- Hormonal changes in your pregnancy can cause your ligaments to become more relaxed which means you may be at risk of injury if you stretch too hard. Stay comfortable and do adequate warm-ups and warm-downs.
- As your body weight increases, it puts more load on your joints and pelvic floor so stay within your comfort zone and stop if you feel pain or discomfort. Walking lunges and wide squats are not recommended.
- If you develop ‘diastasis recti’ (a bulge down the middle of your abdomen), avoid doing abdominal exercises
Be cautious about the following
- Positions that involve lying on your tummy or back, or standing on one leg, in mid-pregnancy and beyond. A good instructor will suggest an alternative, safe postures. For example, instead of lying flat, you can prop up your upper body with pillows. And many of the exercises which involve lying on your tummy can be done on all fours instead.
- Don't stretch any joint to its full range, especially in an unsupported position. This is because your joints will be looser because of hormone changes, which makes you more prone to injury.
- Supporting your weight on your hands and knees may make your wrists ache. This can be particularly uncomfortable if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Your instructor should show you how to lean forward on an exercise ball if this is the case.
Yoga and Pilates for pregnant women should be low impact and contain movements to help with core and leg strength, breathing and relaxation, strengthening your pelvic floor and relieving lower back pain. Movements should be gentle and deliberate and allow you to remain cool and comfortable. There may also be cushions, belts or blankets available to help you while you go through the movements or poses.
Anxiety is often felt by women when they know that they are pregnant. Feelings of worry and tension are usual signs that show her being anxious about giving birth. But by spending time with your husband, regular visits to the OBGYN, finding time to relax and unwind, with good exercise, anxiety should not be a problem at all. All you have to worry about is what to name the baby?