During pregnancy a womans body is subject to physical and hormonal changes. These changes are inevitable, however Pilates can help the body prepare for the challenges that pregnancy brings through prenatal exercises. Pilates will help strengthen your muscles and joints to make it easier to carry the extra weight of the baby, and ease backache by reinforcing the muscles around your core to support the growing uterus. Mentally, Pilates exercises will provide a crucial boost of confidence and a great sense of well-being.
Many of the abdominal exercises in a regular pilates class are unsuitable for pregnant women. Precautions should also be taken when doing any supine (lying face up) exercises that includes lifting either the head, shoulders, or legs off the ground.
Any exercises that require you to lie face down are also not recommended as this could cause injury to you and the baby. Instead, modify the exercise a little and try lying on your side.
Exercises performed on the hands and knees are an ideal position for pregnant women. Not only does it take some of the strain off the back and pelvic area but towards the final stages of pregnancy it may guide the baby into the correct position for birth.
It is very important to ensure you do not do more harm than good to your body when pregnant. Therefore it is essential to seek a trained teacher who is educated in providing the correct instruction for pregnant women. Remember – listen to your body and do not do any exercises that make you feel uncomfortable.