Can Pilates help me when I'm pregnant?

There are several reasons why Pilates is the best type of exercise for pregnant and soon-to-be pregnant women:

  • Pilates builds stronger core muscles with an emphasis on the abs, lower back and the muscles of the pelvic floor. All of these muscles help with body awareness and control, which helps support your baby during your pregnancy and also helps you during labour
  • Pilates helps build deep abdominal strength for an easier birth and a faster recovery
  • Working your whole body and using every muscle group will improve your body balance, especially as your center of gravity changes
  • Your lung capacity will increase and your breathing technique will improve, both of which will help you during labour
  • Pilates emphasizes the mind-body connection. You will have better control of your muscles, and be able to activate the muscles you want. This is very useful during delivery and it also helps with any incontinence you may experience after pregnancy
  • Pilates exercises enable your joints and muscles to return to their pre-pregnancy condition
  • Strong pelvic floor muscles and abdominals have a better chance of full recovery to recovery to pre-pregnancy levels and beyond after being stretched during pregnancy

How does the pelvic floor help?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles in your pelvis that functions as the foundation for your whole core. The pelvic floor muscles are very important during childbirth and if these muscles are well conditioned through Pilates training you will have greater control during labour and a faster recovery after giving birth.

Why should your lower back be strong?

The lower back works together with the abdominals and obliques to keep the spine in a neutral position. As your baby grows, the pressure on your lower back can be relieved if these muscles are strong enough to keep your spine in a neutral position.

I am currently pregnant, can I do Pilates? Until what stage of my pregnancy can I do Pilates?

Your baby is most sensitive during the first trimester so we do not encourage clients who have not worked out before to start any exercise until around the 10th-12th week of pregnancy.

It would be ideal to start Pilates classes before you conceive. This way, your body will be used to the movements by the time you have become pregnant and it will be much easier for you to continue your classes rather than starting from scratch.

Pregnant ladies are encouraged to take plenty of water breaks and short breaks during class (and of course we are more lenient about missed or forgotten classes during pregnancy). You can continue your exercise right up until just before you give birth, unless your doctor has advised you against it.

What do you learn in a pre-natal class?

Our trained instructors will take you on a journey of discovery about your own body as it changes throughout pregnancy – focusing on total body integration, breathing and releasing techniques, ease of movement and preparation for labour positions.

Focus is placed on strengthening the neutral position of the lumbo-pelvic region and posterior muscles that mums require to support the growing baby. While some pregnancy workouts aim to keep the body strong and tight, our class is designed to open and release the body in time for birth.

Towards the third trimester, mums will also get to learn some early postpartum recovery exercises. Constant emphasis is placed on the safety and wellbeing of our clients.

I gave birth about 2 months ago, when can I start working out again?

Our post-natal class is designed especially for new mums to help them regain both strength and confidence.

Attention is focused on realigning the body after childbirth, rehabilitating the pelvic floor and gradually increasing the strength of the postpartum body.

We enforce proper technique on how to deal with abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti), and give exercises that will help recreate awareness and strength in the deep core muscles.

How are prenatal Pilates classes different from normal Pilates classes?

Prenatal Pilates is much more gentle than regular Pilates.

Many of the regular Pilates exercises can be too difficult to perform when your balance is affected by the changes in your body.

We modify a lot of the exercises by using special equipment, which makes them suitable for the changing ability of your core muscles as they stretch during pregnancy.

Group Classes with other mothers-to-be are 55 minutes long and cost from $510 for a package of 10 sessions. A private session, completely tailored to your own individual needs, ranges from $130 to $200. Prices include GST.

You can book a class by calling 6333-3137 or by filling the form below, or why not simply visit the studios between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, or 9am-4pm at the weekend.

The Instructors at Options Pilates are trained specifically to teach Pilates to pregnant women. Certain exercises and positions must be avoided, especially exercises lying flat on your back. Our Instructors are qualified to know which exercises should be avoided, and which are safe for you to do during your pregnancy.


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