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Mumilates: what are the benefits of doing Pilates for expectant mums during pregnancy right through

Doing regular Pilates will help to strengthen your tummy muscles which equips your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of your growing body. Not only does it make you feel good and improve your post-natal recovery, but there is research that shows a considerable positive effect on both yours and your baby’s long term health.

A hormone released during pregnancy called relaxin causes the ligaments that connect your bones to become more flexible, making you prone to pelvic pain and lower back pain. So strengthening your deep abdominal muscles will help counter the laxity so you’re less likely to develop pain in your pelvis and lower back. Pilates is also great to strengthen your glutes, which helps minimise pain in your SiJ-sacri-iliac joint.

One of the most common complaints during pregnancy or after delivery is back pain.

By strengthening the deep abdominal muscles you are less likely to develop back pain. This is partly because Pilates helps increase awareness of your posture which tends to change as your baby grows, which further decreases pain in your back. By stretching, strengthening and engaging in precise movements via Pilates, you give your body the opportunity to strengthen the muscles around your belly and spine.

By focusing on using correct posture and moving by following the pelvic precautions you can improve your pelvic stability and decrease your pain with daily activities.

How about pelvic floor?

Pilates also helps to strengthen your pelvic floor supporting your bladder and bowel which reduces the risk of incontinence that could develop during or after your pregnancy. Your pelvis which does an enormous workload when it comes to keeping your baby safe and secure gets the proper support it needs to do the job.

Breathing easy- helping the delivery process

The birthing process is so much easier with good breathing on your side. Using Pilates exercises, you can open the ribs and thoracic spine joints and strengthen your oblique abdominal muscles.

Keeping in shape through your pregnancy will also help you to get back your pre- pregnancy body more easily! And, if you have suffered from diastasis recti- abdominal separation, postpartum Pilates will help those muscles knit back together.

But be patient..

While you are keen on trying some Pilates classes during pregnancy or straight after birth, its best if you consult your GP after your 6 week check and please make sure you see an experienced Pilates Instructor who specialises or has a knowledge of Pre and Post-natal Pilates.

Shanlyn Giam is an expert Pilates instructor based in Sydney, Australia, where she runs private Pilates classes.

Post written by Shanlyn Giam.

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