Pilates is for everyone but it can be especially useful throughout pregnancy to help with labour and childbirth, and post-pregnancy to keep you both physically and mentally prepared to take on the challenge of little ones!
Founder of equipment studio, Agile Pilates, Agi Makarewicz, explains:
“When you take the time to stop and think about the beauty and complexity of growing a baby inside your womb, it is simply amazing – it is truly a wonder of nature. But the demands of pregnancy can take its toll on your body; back pain, sciatica and the weakening of your pelvic floor are all very common issues.
“Here are my top 5 reasons why Pilates classes work brilliantly for pregnant women and new mummies:
1. POWER HOUSE: Pregnancy is not the time to build muscles around your abdomen but it’s really important to keep your core muscles strong to support your posture. Your core’s role is to act like a powerhouse for your entire body – keep your core strong and it will help all over body function.
2. BETTER LABOUR: Pilates will help you to cope more easily with labour and childbirth. Its benefits are two-fold: 1) Pilates activates key muscles, strengthening them and basically gets them working properly. 2) Learning how to breath properly is a key part of Pilates – breathing properly encourages relaxation, which helps to ease the discomfort of contractions.
3. COPE WITH PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Pilates works on developing your back muscles and strength in your upper body and legs, in a gentle and safe way, and will, therefore, help you deal better with the demands of the months to follow after the birth.
4. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE & ENERGY LEVELS: Pilates will also help boost your immune system and circulation, and provide the energy levels needed to enjoy your pregnancy with more gusto and prepare better for labour. Once your baby has safely arrived, you can use Pilates classes as ‘me time’, giving you breathing space and bursts of the all important happy hormones (endorphins).
5. FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BODY: Investing in Pilates today will put you on a path for a healthier future. Pilates works like WD40, it literally oils your joints, slowing down the natural ageing process by improving core strength, muscle tone, joint mobility, balance and posture. Children are demanding both physically and mentally but by keeping one step ahead in body and mind, it will be you running the circles around them for many years to come!”
“It’s very important to check that your Pilates instructor is fully qualified and able to teach pregnant and post-natal women. You should also discuss any specific medical conditions you have with your instructor and discuss with your midwife or doctor.”
Look and feel fantastic thanks to Agile Pilates in North London.