Pilates is a great form of exercise for mums-to-be and new mums. The importance of exercise during and post pregnancy cannot be understated. It is known that exercise during pregnancy can decrease the risk of certain conditions that can occur during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes. After having your bub there is no rush in getting back into exercise. Usually most people are assessed at 6 weeks post birth for natural deliveries and either week post birth for caesarian sections to determine whether they are ok to return to exercise. Some women like to return to exercise sooner rather than later, others it’s further down the track. Pilates is a great form of exercise to start when you are ready to return to exercise. Either as form of exercise going forward but even to help prepare you to get back into the exercise that you want to complete again.
Common pilates focus for the pre-natal women
Your clinical Pilates program at our studio is tailored to your goals. You can work on any current injury concerns or focus on keeping you active during your pregnancy. There are often common areas of the body that are worked on during pregnancy.
Mid back strengthening- In the early days you will spend a lot of time leaning forward and holding, carrying, changing and breastfeeding bub. These are all activities where our back muscles are stretched and our chest muscles are working. So we find a lot of women benefit from doing mid back strengthening prior to birth to help keep up with the demands that usually follow
Calf strength - As pregnancy continues there is an increase in fluid in the body and this can pool in the ankles. Calf strengthening and stretching can be a nice way to alleviate this.
Thoracic mobility - Over time it is common to feel stiff into the middle back. As long as it is pain free, gentle thoracic mobility exercises can help settle this. This is most useful when used in conjunction with the mid back strength work listed above.
General lower limb strength work - Keeping you strong through your legs and glutes is useful so you are strong enough for all of the bending, squatting, getting on and off the floor that you will do with your little one.
Post pregnancy Pilates will also likely work on the above key focus areas.
In a clinical Pilates setting it can also be tailored in a way to prepare you to return to your previous form of exercise. If you have any queries about clinical Pilates please feel free to contact the practice on 03 9498 0205. Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy offers clinical pilates for new and expecting Mothers at the Essendon clinic.