How can prenatal Pilates help you?
Think back years ago when lower-back pain was considered to be a normal part of being pregnant.
Today we know that lower-back pain, which can start just before the 12th week of pregnancy and last as long as 6 months after the baby is born, has specific causes and treatments.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain: This pain starts in the sacrum or triangle shaped bone across your lower back.
It is a series of joints and when you become pregnant the pelvis needs to widen and causes this area to separate and the joints are stretched.
The pain can shoot through the buttocks and down the thighs and usually worsens towards the evening.
Lumbar or Lower Back Pain: Nonspecific pain in the lower back due to; weight gain, an expanded uterus that changes positions of organs, and other tissues that are stretched to accommodate this expansion.
This pain can intensify when mom is lifting or sitting for a long period of time.
Nocturnal pain: Like a cramp again in the lumbar or sacroiliac area that strikes at night. This could be caused by fatigue from carrying the baby all day.
Most likely if you had lower back pain before your pregnancy it will continue throughout. Knowing this builds a strong case for you to get into good shape before pregnancy and continue on with your prenatal Pilates routine for as long as you are able to in your pregnancy.
The benefits of prenatal Pilates exercises are different in the early and late stages.
Early prenatal exercise
Improves the growth of the baby and decreases some of the maternal symptoms that we noted above such as; back pain, bloating, fatigue, and constipation.
Late prenatal exercise
Helps to maintain fitness, improves your mood, gives you energy, limits weight gain, and shortens labor time due to the increase in muscle strength in your pelvic floor and abdomen for pushing.
Regular and sustained prenatal Pilates exercises can be very beneficial for pregnant women because it clearly complements the adaptations (such as stretched abdominal muscles, pelvis, and back) of your body to being pregnant.
Pilates focuses on building muscle strength and endurance in the abdominal muscles in particular, as well as stabilizing and strengthening the muscles of the pelvis and back.
Think of having a baby like training for the Olympics, because essentially you will be working as hard as or harder than most Olympic athletes to push that little baby out of a very small opening.
Some other benefits of doing Pilates exercise is that it helps to build your posture and realign your spine through the very corrective and dynamic core stabilization exercises.
So when you are in your final trimester and you have all that extra weight to carry around you will be happy you practiced your prenatal Pilates exercises throughout your pregnancy to increase your muscle strength and endurance and to decrease your back pain.
Some important tips for Prenatal exercise:
No Supine (on your back) movements during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Lying on your back can cut off the oxygen supply to the baby.
There are many Pilates exercises you can do sitting up or lying on your side.
Always work in a comfortable range of motion.
Because the body is preparing for the baby it becomes more flexible and you could be at greater risk for hyperextension in the spine and joints.Watch for dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath.
Keep track of your heart rate, if you cannot talk comfortably while exercising you are working to hard.
Stop if you experience any of these.
Mar 21, 17 12:06 AM
Dear Jennifer, I was wondering if there is something that Pilates could do for a bunion. A friend sent me your youtube link, and it is really wonderful.
Jun 22, 16 02:08 PM
Pilates glute exercises to beef up your buns and end your back pain.
Jun 08, 16 02:28 PM
My favorite sciatic pain exercises to stop and avoid it for good! Balance your muscles, fix your posture, and strengthen the legs to help with back pain.