Did you know July, August, and September are the most popular months to give birth? If you’re a new mom-to-be or expecting another child to add your growing family, the excitement of welcoming a new bundle of joy into your home may be just around the corner. Though some women experience minimal discomfort during pregnancy, others don’t fare so well. From morning sickness to aches and pains, the road to motherhood isn’t always a walk in the park. Add on to that, work, baby prep, friends, and family, and all of a sudden making time for you may seem pretty far down the priority list.
Whether it’s your first trimester or you’ve recently given birth, staying active is really important for a number of reasons. Not only does staying active help with fighting pregnancy fatigue, aches, pains and easing labor, it also plays a big role in rehabilitation after the birth. Jessica Slonski, who specializes in pre and post-natal Pilates at Form Body Lab, shares a few major benefits of Pilates to those expecting:
- Posture. As your belly grows, it’s common that the back starts to sway and the shoulders begin hunching forward. Post-natal, the upper body is only further aggravated by feedings and constantly cradling your newborn. Using controlled movements on the Pilates equipment, you can safely and effectively strengthen your abs, glutes and back to promote proper alignment and ease pain.
- Balance. Many women have difficulty balancing during pregnancy because their center of gravity changes dramatically as the baby grows. Engaging the abdominal muscles becomes more challenging as their tummies grow to accommodate the baby. Pilates promotes balance and spatial orientation to help moms stabilize and avoid falls and injuries.
- Relaxation. Relaxation is an integral component of Pilates (in fact, Jessica was on Canadian Living talking about it!). Deep breathing, mind body connection and movement can be especially helpful to ease any physical discomfort as well as the stress of motherhood.
- “Pre-hab” & Rehab. Pilates strengthens and prepares the exact muscles you need during labor, particularly your Transverse Abdominus (deepest core muscle) and Pelvic Floor. Knowing how to use these muscles properly, including being able to release the Pelvic Floor to allow for opening and how to properly engage the Transverse Abdominus during contractions and pushing is extremely beneficial. If you’re strong and in control of your body going into labor, you’ll not only be ready to care for your newborn faster and with more ease, you can potentially limit or avoid possible tearing and injury…plus, you’re more likely to get your pre-pregnancy body back faster when you develop muscle memory and strength before having a baby.
Finding an exercise routine that’s gentle yet challenging is key to reaping the many benefits of a fit pregnancy. That’s why so many moms choose Pilates to stay healthy both pre and post-natal. If you’re new to this method, we can create a plan that accommodates your fitness level, trimester, and work schedule. From private to semi-private classes, there are plenty of options to choose from. To talk to one of our Pilates instructors, visit www.formbodylab.com.