Pregnancy Pilates | Can it help you have a better labor?

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Why Do Pilates While Pregnant?

Pilates is a great strength training workout that supports your tummy, pelvic floor and back muscles that can be extremely useful during pregnancy, labor and delivery.

The idea of Pilates is to increase your strength while balancing your core pelvic region.  This supports you in having good posture and a solid core. Strengthening these core areas has a positive benefit when going into labor.

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If you’re looking for a prenatal workout program you can follow along with, I suggest checking out this program. It’s designed just for pregnant moms to get fit, stay fit and have an easier time with labor and birth.

By the way. If you want to make fitness super easy during pregnancy, you have to check out my friend Katie’s Belly only pregnancy program. It is amazing! She makes it easy to figure out what to eat that will nourish you and your baby, and help you get fit during pregnancy and protect your body from damage caused by gaining too much weight during pregnancy.


Is Pilates Safe During Pregnancy?

Pilates is not only safe during pregnancy, it has tons of benefits for both mom and baby.

The key to staying safe while doing any kind of work out while pregnant is to try to stay within the same realm of working out you were doing before pregnancy.

Before we get started on the benefits of pilates during pregnancy, here are a few guidelines to follow whenever you workout while pregnant:

  • During pregnancy is not the time to “push yourself”
  • Avoid any exercises that could create an impact on your belly (Things like surfing where the board could hit your stomach, are typical pregnancy exercise no-no’s)
  • If you start to feel dizzy or strange, stop and talk to your doctor
  • Avoid over extending your joints (Like your knees) as your body produces hormones to loosen your joints for birth. This could cause you to injur your knees or other parts of your body.
  • Hydrate constantly
  • Always consult your doctor and get the ok to start working out


Which Pilates Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy


How is Pilates different from Yoga?

Pilates targets your core and pelvic regions. Plus, instead of just doing mat work as in yoga, Pilates often uses machines to achieve the desired results.

Pilates uses a series of controlled movements that increase your strength and flexibility without putting strain on your joints.

Pregnancy Pilates has an additional benefit in that it focuses its work on the areas specifically used in childbirth.

This can aid in reducing stress and complications in the labor and delivery process. Meaning easier birth!


Benefits of Pregnancy Pilates

Doing Pilates while pregnant has many other benefits besides developing a strong core for labor and delivery. Some other benefits include:

♥ Control of Breathing: Much like yoga, Pilates targets key muscles and the pelvic region. To get the best workout, you will focus on your breathing. When you breathe through the stretch or movement, you will get a better workout. This also helps you center on your breath that is a necessary component in labor and delivery.

♥ Strong Tummy Muscles: The stronger your tummy muscles are the better off you’ll be during delivery. The strength training and focus on the pelvic region Pilates offers will tighten those tummy muscles making it easier for you throughout your pregnancy.

♥ Mind & Body Awareness: Doing Pilates regularly helps you to center your focus and connect to your mind and body. Too many times when we are pregnant, we can feel off balance or out of sorts. This practice not only offers strength training, but also allows you to connect and feel your body and clear your mind.

♥ Reduces Back Pain: When developing your core, you will reduce back and pelvic stress thereby relieving the common lower back pain that can come with carrying your new bundle of joy. Take the time and ease that stress on your back with consistent workouts.

♥ Increased Balance: Pilates, like yoga, will help you to have better balance and connect to the earth. This helps prevent falls later in pregnancy from being off balance. Consistent Pilates practice gives you an edge as your body starts to change.


15 Minute Pilates Exercise to do While Pregnant


What to Look for in a Pilates Class?

Make sure when you look for a Pilates instructor that they have taught and are educated in pregnancy Pilates as there are some key differences for women in pregnancy that need to be considered such as:

  • Don’t stretch all the way through a pose because while you are pregnant this can cause problems because your ligaments will be much more loose due to the hormone relaxin. Make sure you are well supported in every move.
  • Watch for poses that make you lay on your tummy or back. Your instructor will need to adapt poses such as these for you and your baby.
  • Be wary of leaning all your weight on your hands as this can cause discomfort in your arms and wrists due to the extra weight. If necessary, use an exercise ball to support you.

Before starting any workout regimen, it is a good idea to work with your doctor or midwife to ensure you are prepared for the workout. Also, combining Pregnancy Pilates with aerobic workouts such as walking, running or dancing can be very effective.

Update* I’m so excited that my friend Katie is finally offering a program for pregnant mama’s! Her program, The Belly only Pregnancy Program is AWESOME! I was already a huge fan of her postpartum recovery program. But I’m super excited she has one available for pregnant mom’s too!

I personally gain quite a bit of weight during my first pregnancy and had no idea the toll it would take on my body after. Her program is designed to help you stay at a healthy weight and strengthen your pelvic muscles (hello easier birth!) and prevent things like diastasis recti. (<– which happens to a lot of new moms, including me!)

Anyway, it’s great, she’s great. You cannot go wrong with a program like this. It’s great for you and your baby! Go check it out mama!

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Pilates is a great prenatal workout. Exercising while pregnant is super important. It can help make you and your baby healthier and prepare your body for an easier labor and delivery.

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