Pregnancy Pilates - What’s not to love ?

Pregnancy Pilates - What’s not to love ?

 

Pilates is a safe form of exercise that can be performed throughout your whole pregnancy and beyond.

It is a targeted, low impact way to keep your body moving that can be modified to best suit the stage and needs of your pregnancy. As your baby bump grows, your body will change and adapt with its primary focus on creating a safe and nurturing environment for your growing baby inside.

It is important that you look to support your body through these changes, creating strength, stability and mobility to the muscles and joints responsible for protecting your body from injury and preparing for labour and birth. The Australian physical activity guidelines recommend pregnant women should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intense exercise per week.

To achieve this throughout your whole pregnancy, you want a program that can provide you with a safe, progressive way to move your body, whilst targeting the right areas to support your growing bump. And so you have it, Pilates.  

 

Benefits of Pilates in Pregnancy  

Pilates - it’s like a wonder drug, and it’s backed by evidence.  

 

Reduce back pain, improve posture & flexibility.

The exercises are focused on increasing core, glute and pelvic floor strength, creating lumbopelvic stability. With improved pain, our body can move more freely, allowing us to stand taller and feel stronger.  

 

Reduce pregnancy fatigue & incontinence whilst improving sleep quality.

With exercises that aim to increase your pelvic floor strength, you can rest assured you’re reducing your risk of developing incontinence. The ability for the program to be tailored to your needs allows you to continue exercising even at those difficult tired times. The endorphins released during exercise counteract the never ending fatigue battle and have shown to help manage pregnancy-related sleep problems.  

 

Reduce stress, improved breathing & reduce risk of depression.

Part of pilates practice is based upon breath control, relaxing the mind, creating connection with your body. This sense of peace allows us to stay calm, and release positive endorphins. You’ll feel happier, and more alive, leaving you craving more! And what a healthy pregnancy craving to have. 

 

Maintain healthy weight gain & improve blood pressure.

Pilates allows pregnant women to remain active throughout their whole pregnancy journey, having not just physical strength benefits but also improved overall general health.  

 

Reduced labour pains & increased likelihood of a natural delivery.

Research states that those who practised Pilates had a reduced delivery time, were less likely to need pain relief or medical intervention, and overall leading to a happy healthy labour and delivery for mum and baby.

 

So what’s not to love? Pilates, it’s the way to go for keeping an active healthy body and mind during pregnancy, labour, the birth and beyond.  

 

Written by Jessica Anwyl 

  • Physiotherapist 
  • Clinical Pilates Instructor 
  • B. Health Sciences / M. of Physiotherapy Practice 
  • Specialist in Sports & Pre/Post natal care 

 

References  

Luciano Rodríguez-Díaz, Carlos Ruiz-Frutos, Juana María Vázquez-Lara, Jesús Ramírez-Rodrigo, Carmen Villaverde-Gutiérrez, Gema Torres-Luque, 

Effectiveness of a physical activity programme based on the Pilates method in pregnancy and labour, Enfermería Clínica (English Edition), Volume 27, Issue 5, 2017, Pages 271-277, 

ISSN 2445-1479. 

Bahareh Mothaghi Dastenaei, Fereshteh Aein, Faranak Safdari, Zohreh Karimiankakolaki, 

Designing an intervention program over the effects of Pilates on pregnancy outcomes among the pregnant women: A protocol study, International Journal of Surgery Protocols, Volume 24, 

2020, Pages 27-30, ISSN 2468-3574.  

Ghandali, N.Y., Iravani, M., Habibi, A. et al. The effectiveness of a Pilates exercise program during pregnancy on childbirth outcomes: a randomised controlled clinical trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 21, 480 (2021).  

Sonmezer, Emel, Özköslü, Manolya Acar, and Yosmaoğlu, Hayri Baran. ‘The Effects of Clinical Pilates Exercises on Functional Disability, Pain, Quality of Life and Lumbopelvic Stabilization in Pregnant Women with Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Study’. 1 Jan. 2021 : 69 – 76. 

Vanessa de Souza Ferraz, Clayton Peixoto, Ana Paula Ferreira Resstel, Ygor Thiago Cerqueira de Paula, Ana Beatriz Gomes de Souza Pegorare, 

Effect of the pilates method on pain and quality of life in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 35, 2023, Pages 220-227, ISSN 1360-8592.