When you’re pregnant, it’s tempting to eat everything you want and abandon all exercise knowing that you’re going to gain weight anyway and, for once in your life, you can blame it on someone else!
However, exercise during pregnancy is not about keeping your weight in check (gasp!)
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, recommend 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and 2 days of strength-based training per week during pregnancy.
Exercise during pregnancy has been proven to reduce and manage gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. It has also been associated with short and less complicated labours and fewer neonatal complications.
While there are a variety of exercises considered safe for pregnant women, Pilates comes highly recommended by Women In Focus Physiotherapist Elise Crimmins.
“Pilates-based exercise allows mums-to-be to fulfill their recommended exercise guidelines in a positive, mindful environment. It also aids to improve mind-body awareness in a period marked by dynamic body changes”.
Many Pilates benefits are advantageous not only to pregnant women, but continue to be beneficial during the postnatal period as well to help heal, strengthen and empower.
5 Reasons why Pilates is the perfect exercise during and after pregnancy
1. Contrary to popular belief, leaking when you cough, sneeze or jump IS NOT NORMAL! Pelvic floor strengthening during and after pregnancy reduces stress incontinence post-birth. Pilates is a great way of incorporating regular pelvic floor exercises into your exercise regime.
2. Getting your “pre-baby body back” is so outdated. There is FINALLY a push towards body confidence and empowerment post-baby. After all, birth and pregnancy are massive milestones that don’t necessarily need to be erased (or can be). Practicing pilates, though, will help you tone up and empower your body safely.
3. Pilates aids in early post-natal rehab, addressing abdominal wall integrity, back and pelvic control, postural endurance and a return to high impact exercise, like running. Life as a mum is strenuous! Whether it be the hours spent rocking and settling baby, lifting capsules and heavy infants, or pushing a pram loaded up with your week’s groceries (as well as your baby of course). There is no denying the loads that get put on mums bodies. Strengthening your core, chest and back through pilates will not only improve your posture but help you adjust smoothly to the physical demands of #mumlife.
4. Through pilates, you will learn how to clock out of your fight or flight nervous system and into your rest and reset nervous system through breath work. These skills will really come into their own in high-stress situations like vaginal births and contractions, but also during the challenges of settling a newborn.
5. Beyond the physical benefits, pilates does wonderful things for the mind! The calmness you feel after spending a class focusing and breathing properly helps to center you and reduce your overall stress levels, aiding relaxation and good mental health.
Where can I find prenatal and postnatal pilates classes in the Shire?
In the Shire, we are lucky to have had an industry-leading Women In Focus Physiotherapy open its doors to the Shire in 2020. They have a team of expert physiotherapists running prenatal, postnatal and clinical rehab classes for mums, and what’s even better… they have a Creche area so you can bring bub along!
Women in Focus in Miranda offer a range of pilates classes to suit every need and are small in size so that your Physio instructor can give ample attention to each participant’s technique. There is also a convenient creche available for any mum who needs one.
Better yet, since all classes are physio-led, you can even claim them on your private health insurance as part of your ‘Physiotherapy’ allowance!
If you’re a new patient, book in with Women in Focus before February 28th to receive 50% off both your initial consultation and your first class! Give Women In Focus Miranda a call on (02) 9524 9915 or visit the website here!
An initial consultation with one of their qualified physiotherapists will first help you raise any concerns you may have, and ensure that pilates is a suitable exercise choice for you.
During this appointment, your physiotherapist will also perform a Real-Time Ultrasound assessment to teach the correct activation of the pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles.
What classes are available?
You can choose from Women in Focus’ range of pilates classes, which are all designed and led by Physiotherapists:
- For pregnant women they offer ‘Beautiful Bumps’. This mat-based pregnancy class uses balls, bands and small weights to improve posture, pelvic floor awareness, deep core activation, and help prevent pelvic girdle pain by maintaining glute strength. It is perfect for beginners and can improve your strength and fitness both pre and post-pregnancy. The Women in Focus attitude is not about bouncing back but rather helping you gradually return to optimal health.
- On the other side of childbirth, new mums are welcome to bring their babies along to the Mums and Bubs Postnatal Pilates class: ‘Mumma’s’. The mat-style class is suitable for women whose babies are at least six weeks old. It focuses on abdominal and pelvic floor rehabilitation and aims to build glute and postural strength.
- Clinical Pilates classes are ideal if you’re looking to rehabilitate your body and improve your strength and coordination. Under the safe guidance of a Physiotherapist, you’ll use the reformer, trap table and split pedal chair, to focus on functional, meaningful movement.
- Women in Focus also offer tailored Pilates classes for women over fifty and women fighting cancer. You can find a full list of their classes and descriptions on the Women in Focus website.
For more information or to start your empowering journey now, visit Women in Focus or call the Miranda clinic on (02) 9524 9915.