Congratulations on your pregnancy! Staying active while pregnant has many benefits, such as reducing back pain, strengthening your body, and preparing your mind for giving birth. Pilates has benefits for everyone, but how can the Reformer help you throughout your pregnancy?
Here are our top three benefits of doing Pilates while pregnant:
Pilates is low-impact.
Pregnancy can impact posture, joint movement, and mobility. Pilates is great for pregnant women to gain or maintain flexibility and strength. The low-impact nature of Pilates makes exercise more approachable during pregnancy, especially with the aches and pains that can take a toll on your body. With low-impact workouts, you are still increasing your heart rate and staying active while avoiding actions that may negatively impact your joints and muscles. Staying active during pregnancy also has positive effects for the baby, including advanced neurodevelopment, a healthier heart, and lower risk of being underweight.
Reformer Pilates, specifically, is often considered safer than mat Pilates during pregnancy. Mat Pilates relies on body weight and a focused center of gravity, and it’s easy for pregnant people to become dizzy or lose balance during these exercises..
The mind-body connection reduces stress and anxiety.
Pilates is an intentional and thoughtful practice, and the mind-body connection is one of the main benefits. Pilates encourages you to be focused and present in order to get the most out of your workout. Pregnancy can often cause stress and anxiety and the connection between mind and body is more important than ever.
Breathing is an essential aspect of this mind-body awareness. Not only can Pilates breathing expand your rib cage and stretch your muscles that get tight while pregnant but it can also impact your emotions. This type of breathing can help you cope with the emotional ups and downs that can come with pregnancy, increase energy, and promote freedom and confidence.
Pilates helps prepare your body for labor.
Practicing Pilates y improves flexibility and strengthens your body, preparing you for labor and delivery. It also helps your body adjust to the growing baby and its additional weight. Stabilizing and reinforcing strength in your abdomen, back, and pelvic floor can aid you through the physical requirements of labor. Plus, Reformer Pilates is known to strengthen the pelvic floor faster. Labor is a marathon, and training for it with Pilates will build your endurance in preparation.
Pilates can also help with the postpartum experience, especially when you continue to do Pilates post-pregnancy (once it is safe to do so). Again, this low-impact exercise helps you stay active postpartum without pushing your body too far.
The Body Lab’s client perspective
We’ve had several pregnant clients at The Body Lab! Recently, one client participated in Pilates classes throughout her entire pregnancy. Here’s what she said about her experience:
“I was a fan of The Body Lab pre-pregnancy and enjoyed Athletic and Flow classes. I kept up with both throughout my entire pregnancy and felt fully supported by the instructors, who would provide custom modifications for me as my pregnancy progressed. I was lucky enough to continue exercising up to seven days before my second daughter was born.
Throughout the months leading up to the delivery, I not only felt safe but STRONG! Pregnancy pains were minimal due to my core strength, posture awareness, and endurance. Fast forward to the delivery, which I felt well prepared for. My recovery has also been speedy due to the exercises that prepared me for the delivery. Though I have strength to build up to get me to where I was previously, I was happy to hear at a physical therapy appointment that my abs hadn't separated— which is typical for pregnancy.
I'm beyond grateful I found The Body Lab two years ago but even more so that I was supported by the amazing instructors and community throughout my pregnancy!”
This confirms our confidence that Pilates truly is for everyone— those looking to increase activity, people with injuries, pregnant people, and more. Pregnancy can be difficult, but The Body Lab is here to make you feel confident and supported throughout your journey. Be sure to clear any activity with your healthcare provider and most importantly, listen to your body.
Are you pregnant and looking for a low-impact form of exercise? Talk to your doctor and book a class with us today!