You wouldn’t run a marathon without training…therefore, I would advise not going into labour without training either! There are so many incredible benefits from prenatal Pilates that all moms-to-be should make it a part of their prenatal training program.
During pregnancy, a prenatal Pilates class will help you with maintaining a healthy weight; posture and alignment awareness and correction; balance training; arms, legs and back strengthening as weight displacement occurs while baby grows.
During labour and delivery, that prenatal Pilates class continues to offer a multitude of benefits including breath control; endurance (if you are ‘lucky’ enough to have a long labour); alignment of the spine and pelvis for optimal birthing positioning of the baby; core, glutes, arms, legs and back strength because believe me, ALL of those muscles get used during labour!
Postnatal, your Pilates training will help to facilitate a quicker, more efficient postnatal recovery and hopefully prevent diastasis (a separation of the abdominals) and pelvic floor disfunction (incontinence, painful intercourse or prolapse). You will already have built strong abdominal muscles in the prenatal phase, so rebuilding those will not take as long after delivery! Your awareness of posture and alignment will also come in handy when sitting for long hours feeding, rocking and bouncing your new baby. Also, new moms carry a significant amount of weight…no not baby weight…the weight of the car seat, the ever-growing baby and the bottomless diaper bag with all of the essentials that moms never want to be without. This can put a ton of strain on the upper body and back, which you can counteract with your continued Pilates practice!
In a Prenatal Pilates class at Lead, you can expect:
- Knowledgeable instruction from a certified Pilates Instructor
- Comfort and ease of working out alongside other women who are pregnant
- Strength training using your own body weight and resistance – hamstrings, quads, glutes, arms, shoulders, pelvic floor, abdominals…the whole body!
- Breathing techniques – diaphragmatic breathing, lateral breathing, deep breath with movement
- Fascial release – keeping the muscles as flexible as they are strong, including your pelvic floor (yup, it’s true!)
- Inner core unit strengthening and relaxation: diaphragm, pelvic floor, transverse abdominals (deepest layer of abdominals) and multifidi (muscles along the spine)
- Lots of fun! 🙂
- Eccentric movement – lengthening and strengthening at the same time
- The occasional story from other moms who have had babies previously
- Laughter! (and maybe even the occasional tear!!)