There are many benefits to exercising when you are pregnant, both for you and your baby, and you may commence exercising during your pregnancy at any stage, providing that you are not experiencing complications. It is now recommended that women undergo daily, gentle exercise throughout their pregnancy as long as there are no complications present. Women may commence exercising during their pregnancy even if they have not exercised regularly prior to becoming pregnant. Despite this, it is important that you are exercising appropriately, to ensure that you are not over-exerting yourself, are not at risk of overheating and that you are not putting your baby at any physical risk eg during contact or high intensity sports.
The benefits of exercising when pregnant include:
Clinical Pilates focuses on strengthening the deep stabilizing muscles around the pelvis and lower back, including the pelvic floor, which results in a more stable lumbopelvic system, which is not only important in pregnancy but post-natally as well. Pilates also addresses the postural changes that occur during pregnancy, improving flexibility to stiff areas, including the upper back and ribcage. The Physiotherapist instructor will have the clinical knowledge to ensure that you are exercising appropriately for your ability and stage of pregnancy, and will accommodate for any musculoskeletal conditions you may be experiencing.
There are many physiological changes that occur within a woman’s body during pregnancy. Hormones are released which soften the mother’s ligaments, enabling the pelvis to widen in preparation for labour. This ligament softening may lead to pregnancy-related pelvic pain, as the stability around the pelvis reduces. Women who are experiencing pain may feel that they should not exercise, however pelvic ligament laxity can be compensated for by strengthening the muscles around the pelvis and lower back. You may find that Clinical Pilates is very useful in relieving your symptoms of pregnancy-related pelvic pain, however exercises may need to be modified to suit your individual level of ability. You may also require some hands-on treatment in combination with your Clinical Pilates program, and this will be determined at assessment.
Exercising during pregnancy will not be suitable for every woman and in some cases it is strictly contraindicated as it would put the health of the Mother and her baby at risk. It is therefore very important that you have an initial assessment prior to class enrolment. This will be a 30 minute session at a time that suits you. Your medical history will be taken and your mobility will be assessed. You will also be taught the Pilates Elements, to prepare you for the class. It is important that any specific conditions regarding your general health are established, as are any musculoskeletal concerns you may have. This will ensure that specific problem areas are addressed during the class. You will not require a GP referral letter if you are having a complication-free pregnancy, however please do get in touch with us if you have any concerns or queries regarding this. We do recommend that you bring your pregnancy notes with you to your assessment.