A lot of fitness exercises are now being recommended to pregnant women, as these help them become stronger and more capable of enduring the pains not just of pregnancy itself, but also once they undergo labor. Pregnancy experiences are not the same for all women; some are more capable of taking the changes happening to their body with grace, while others don’t. Hence, through these exercises, expecting mothers are able to keep up with their physical fitness needs while at the same time prepare for the coming of their baby.
Prenatal Pilates is one of the popular fitness exercises for pregnant women. The routines under this type of Pilates are specially designed for women who are due to undergo labor, and focus on specific health needs. Through Pilates, pregnant women are able to improve certain capacities without feeling too much strain, and these include endurance, pelvic balance, mind-body coordination, and breathing controls.
But how exactly does Pilates and pregnancy work together?
- Better breathing techniques
In Pilates, even breathing exercises are done in a disciplined manner. There are specific breathing counts, and these are intended to put the mind and body focused on the breathing activity, and for the rest of the regions to follow suit.
Pregnant women need to be able to control their breathing, as there are instances in which they find it difficult to inhale and exhale due to their growing baby bump. Through the breathing techniques taught in Pilates, they are able to maintain normal inhale and exhale activities even as they experience more changes in their body throughout the pregnancy terms.
In addition, controlled breathing is essential during labor. During childbirth, women are able to coordinate their breathing with each push until the baby finally comes out.
- Improved balance.
A woman gains more weight as the baby inside her grows during pregnancy. The additional weight then makes some women difficult to move around since it affects their core and pelvic balance. Through prenatal Pilates, these conditions are addressed by means of floor exercises, wherein the pelvic muscles are given specific attention on how they can be strong enough to carry the additional weight during pregnancy, and how they can maintain holding on to the weight while doing different activities such as standing, walking, and sitting.
Pilates also makes the muscles in the lower torso more coordinated with the core and pelvic areas, as they too are subject to holding the pregnancy weight. There are specific exercises that focus on the inner and lower thighs, as well as the ankles and feet, so that these areas will not swell or weaken during pregnancy.
- Staying relaxed.
Pregnant women are often subject to anxiety as they reach their full term. The mingling of emotions are usually due to hormonal changes and the feeling of excitement of having a baby in a few months’ time. These fluctuating feelings however may make it difficult for a pregnant woman to stay calm and relaxed, thus she has to learn how to control her emotions.
Prenatal Pilates is then an effective way to stay relaxed while pregnant. Apart from its controlled breathing techniques, Pilates also has other routines that require undivided attention on detail and these help in getting rid of the tension during pregnancy and focus on a particular activity instead. Women can benefit from these routines as they are able to divert their attention from the worries of childbirth. They also get to feel better afterwards due to the release of endorphins from the Pilates sessions.