Try Pilates Exercise During Pregnancy

If you are willing and ready to exercise during pregnancy, Pilates exercise may be the perfect work-out.

Pilates, developed in Germany at the turn of the 20th century by Joseph Pilates, emphasizes balance, strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility through movement and controlled breathing. Because it is an exercise program designed to be adapted to any body size, type and shape, pregnant women can practice it with ease.

Why Pregnancy Pilates?

For many women, Pilates is the perfect exercise during and after pregnancy.
Because Pilates emphasizes building core strength, you'll be building abdominal, pelvic floor, and back muscles, which will support your baby during pregnancy and help during delivery, too. Pilates is also helpful in getting your pre-baby figure back.

Talk to you doctor before starting a Pilates regimen. You'll also want to have a trained Pilates instructor advise you on how to start a Pilates regimen. If you've never done Pilates before, try a prenatal Pilates class.

The Benefits Of Pilates During Pregnancy

  • Pilates during pregnancy helps to strengthen pelvic muscles, increase shoulder and back stability, and improve balance, posture and muscle tone.
  • Other benefits of pregnancy Pilates are:
  • Increased blood flow
  • Better breathing - Pilates breathing techniques can be used to relieve stress during pregnancy and help with delivery.
  • Stronger pelvic floor muscles
  • Better healing of the perineum after the birth
  • Decrease in back pain during pregnancy
  • Decrease in morning sickness

Some Pregnant Pilates -Don'ts'
Like any exercise program during pregnancy, Pilates should be practiced with moderation and common sense.

  • Only use Pilates under the guidance of an authorized Pilates instructor who is well trained in the nuances of Pilates for pregnancy.
  • Never do Pilates alone.
  • Don't exceed your limits. Don't push yourself beyond your comfort level and only increase your training very gradually.  The minute you think your body is straining, stop exercising. If you can't talk in a normal conversational way without huffing and puffing, you're overdoing it. If you feel lightheaded, feel abdominal contractions, feel a leak, or get a headache, stop exercising.
  • Only do Pilates exercises that have been adapted for pregnant women.  Pilates offers many exercises that are safe during pregnancy, however other Pilates exercises should be avoided.
  • The American Council of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warns against Pilates exercises in the supine position (lying on your back) during pregnancy because it can affect both the mother's and the baby's vascular system.
  • Avoid Pilates in the last three months of your pregnancy. Your center of balance will shift in this third trimester and some exercise may strain the abdomen muscles.

Pregnancy can be the right time to begin a Pilates regimen to improve your pregnancy, delivery, recovery and beyond.

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