The Benefits of Pilates during Pregnancy
With Fit Bumps and Mums starting a new Prenatal Pilates class in the New Year we thought you might be interested in what Pilates is and why doing it during your pregnancy is really worthwhile.
What is pilates?
Pilates trains your body to be strong, flexible and balanced. It involves a series of movements and positions that help to improve your strength and coordination. Deep breathing and relaxation are important in controlling how you do the exercises. The movements focus on your tummy, pelvic floor muscles and back muscles, which are all key to good posture, balance and strength. They also help your back and pelvis to be supported. If you strengthen your muscles, you’ll develop a stable core. Pilates builds on this strength through a series of controlled, increasingly challenging movements that won’t put your body under strain.
8 Benefits of Pilates during pregnancy:
1 Strengthen your stomach and gluteal muscles During pregnancy your body releases a hormone called Relaxin which makes your ligaments more pliable (in preparation for birth). This does unfortunately mean an increased risk of pelvic and back pain. Making your stomach and gluteal muscles strong will equip your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of your growing baby.
2 Reduces back pain By strengthening the deep abdominal muscles you are less likely to develop back pain. Pilates also helps to give you better awareness of your posture, which tends to change as your baby grows.
3 Strengthen your pelvic floor Pilates can help to strengthen this hammock of muscle that sits under the pelvis supporting your bladder and bowel. There is also a link between pelvic girdle pain and pelvic floor weakness.
4 Helps with balance As your body adapts to your growing baby and your bump grows outwards, your centre of gravity changes and you may be a little unstable. Pilates exercises strengthen your core and making you more stable when you walk.
5 Maintain a healthy weight It is normal to gain weight throughout the pregnancy, however if a woman puts on more than the recommended weight she is at an increased risk of gestational diabetes. Doing regular, gentle exercise can help control a healthy weight gain throughout the pregnancy.
6 Control your breathing Breathing is a key focus in all Pilates classes. Learning to control your breathing is essential for labour.
7 Relaxation It is important you take some time for yourself during your pregnancy, time to unwind, relax and switch off from the busy goings on around you.
8 Improve your postnatal recovery The stronger your body prenatally the easier you will find it to bounce back into your pre pregnancy shape.
The Fit Bumps class starts with an introduction of ourselves so that we all get to know one another. (Aside from the benefits of the exercise itself a class is a great opportunity to form a network of “mum friends” who are priceless in those early days!) The class itself incorporates the whole body and utilises both the gym ball and the mat. There are always alternatives if you find any of the movements challenging. At the end of the class there is a period of relaxation with lovely fluffy blankets. We finish with a cold drink, healthy snack and more “mum talk” which can be normal chit chat or an opportunity for you to ask any questions which may be on your mind!
Each class will last an hour and a half and booking is essential. You will need a gym/yoga/birthing ball and a pillow. Classes are paid for in blocks of 4 which cost £25 and can be taken over a 6 week period. There is a 24 hour cancellation period before each class. Taster sessions can be booked (providing there is space) at £7 per class.
Starting Monday January 4th at 7pm. Book now by calling Laura on 07738224861.