Pregnancy is a period of great change, both physical and psychical, and in some cases, you may seem to lose balance. The hormones increase their levels, and your body gets through a pretty complex transformation, as it needs to make room for the baby and ensure the best conditions for their health and comfort. All these adjustments can be scary sometimes, and stressful, as you’ll be constantly thinking if you are doing the best for your little one, and, in this context, your favorite gym routine, may be challenged as well.
If you have practicing Pilates before the pregnancy, you are probably wondering if it is still safe to do it while expecting a baby. Or you may be thinking to begin now, and use this technique as a way to relax and strengthen your body so it can support the pregnancy. In both cases, it is possible. But there are still some restrictions that need to be taken into consideration to make sure that both you and the baby remain safe during the routine. So, stay with us as we are about to explore this subject in detail in today’s article and provide you with advice for each pregnancy trimester.
When Joseph Pilates invented this method, he saw it as a way to help the soldiers wounded in World War I recover and become functional again. It consisted of a set of exercises, designed to activate and stimulate all the muscles in the body, while encouraging good posture and stability, and this technique is still used today with some variations.
Pilates can be practiced on a mat or by using an apparatus . At the same time, you can choose to join a gym class or hire a personal trainer, who can come to your home and help you work out in your own rhythm.
But this technique isn’t only about physical exercise. It can help you disconnect from your daily worries (which can be a lot for a pregnant woman) and focus on the exercises only. It is a great way of eliminating stress and finding interior balance, and it will help you deal easier with the emotions and discomfort associated with pregnancy.
There’s one point we need to clarify before listing all the advantages you’ll get from doing these exercises, and this is that you’ll need to check first with your physician. They may recommend avoiding some exercises or, in some cases, not to do any of them. No matter the response, make sure to follow it, as it is your baby’s health that’s in the game, and you wouldn’t want to endanger it in any way.
Now, assuming you have received a positive response, here is a list with the advantages you’ll get by practicing Pilates:
Low-impact workouts are the best to be practiced while expecting a baby, and this is what Pilates is. You will not be running or jumping or doing sudden movements that can bother the infant. Instead, you will do everything slowly, just enough to improve blood circulation and feel more energized.
First, there’s a small human growing in your belly, so you will need to be extra careful with the way you use your body. Intense effort isn’t recommended while expecting, so if you have been doing Pilates before and have gotten to an advanced level that requires executing difficult exercises, you will want to reduce their intensity a bit and maybe lower the level. Beginner routines work perfectly in this situation.
Secondly, you will want to avoid sitting on your belly, as the pressure can reflect upon the baby. Plus, you won’t be feeling comfortable at all. Usually, you will want to avoid the maneuvers that put pressure on your abdominal cavity and focus more on working your thighs and improving your posture.
Another risk that may appear with the pregnancy is diastasis, which means that your abdominal muscles can separate, creating a hole around your belly button. If this condition appears, it is usually recommended to avoid physical practice until after birth.
When you reach the 2nd trimester, you should try not to stay on your back, as this can block the blood supply to the baby. Moreover, it is not recommended to use the reformer anymore, and you should avoid movements that require you to jump or exercise you vigorously.
The best way to ensure that you stay safe while practicing pregnancy Pilates, it to make a plan for each trimester and use it. A personal trainer who is specialized in circumstances of this type can help you with recommendations. Simultaneously, you should listen to your body. It will tell you if you are putting too much effort, and you will know when to stop.
To make things easier, we’ve prepared a list with things you should, depending on the gravidity stage you are:
You’ve just found out you are expecting, and the changes aren’t visible yet, although there’s a lot taking place in your uterus. Fortunately, few things can be regarded as risks at this point, but it is a great moment to start getting prepared for “the bump”.
You’ve probably started to get over the nausea and tiredness associated with the 1st trimester and the famous glow may be already showing on your face and hair. Nevertheless, your belly has grown, and you already feel that you no longer have the same mobility.
Here’s what you need to do at this point:
You are already carrying a considerable extra load, and you are getting tired again. This is the most difficult period, so you’ll want to focus more on relaxation.
Remaining active throughout gravidity will help you carry all the load more easily. Your muscles will remain strong, and this is essential, as they need to support your baby, while your skin will stay flexible and ready to extend as your belly expands. And, if you need to choose an exercise routine for this period, Pilates is by far one of the best. The movements are slow and can be adapted as the gravidity advances. Plus, it offers plenty of benefits, and, as long as you follow some ground rules, the risks are minimal to none.