One of the major misconceptions of Prenatal exercise is women should not work their abdominals during pregnancy. This is a myth that is de-bunked in the Pilates workout.
The core muscle trained in Pilates is the deepest layer of the abdominals called the transversus abdominis. It’s the Rectus Abdominis or ’six pack muscles that should be avoided during pregnancy. The Transversus Abdominus main function is to activate the core musculature and stabilize the pelvis and low back prior to movement of the body. This muscle is activated at the start of all Pilates exercises
The Pilates workout is safe, gentle, and adaptable for every trimester. In fact, the women who attend my Prenatal Pilates class continuously tell me how good they feel after each class.
Here’s how Pilates can help you feel better and stronger as your pregnancy progresses, while also helping you prepare for an easier labor and delivery.
1. Pilates is all about your Core!
The muscles required to ‘push’ the baby out are the transversus abdominis, which is the main muscle trained in Pilates. If these muscles are strong then you have prepared them for the endurance of a long labor.
Also, having strong deep core muscles during pregnancy will reduce back and hip pain, as well as speed up recovery after birth.
2. Boosts your energy and lifts your spirit by releasing more serotonin
Pilates has a way of making you feel really good after a class. Pilates has been proven to increase both production and release of serotonin. Increased levels of serotonin can be helpful in the reduction of the symptoms associated with worry, lack of motivation, lethargy, and anxiety.
3. Improved control and strength of pelvic floor region.
Your pelvic floor supports your bladder, bowel and uterus (womb), and gives you control over when you empty your bladder or bowel. Pelvic floor muscles also affect your vaginal muscles. You may find sex less satisfying, and feel less sensitivity in your vagina, if you have a weak pelvic floor. Being pregnant can place a lot of stress on your pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor can become weak and stretched from as early as 12 weeks into your pregnancy. During the entire Pilates class you get to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with each exercise. This is an excellent way to help prevent problems of a weak pelvic floor after birth.
4. Improve posture during pregnancy
Pilates improves your posture, making it easier to carry your baby while also reducing the risk of personal injury. The gentle, soft flow of movements in class minimizes and prevents excess stress to an already tired and over-stressed body.
5. Increases Lung Function and Capacity
The deep and soothing breaths associated with Pilates are often successful in the improvement of airflow and increasing of lung capacity. Improved breathing patterning, as instructed in Pilates, aids in relaxation and helps in managing pain during labor.