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Every Expecting Mother Needs Pilates

Written by Shepherd Duncan, Certified Pilates Instructor and Expecting Mother!

Congratulations on your new journey on becoming a mother! What an amazing journey it will be, full of love and support from all angles. One of the best ways you can support your mind and body through the changes is a Pilates practice! Here are 5 reasons why Club Pilates is perfect for expectant mothers.

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1. Breath

Expansive breath could be the element that creates a joyful and easy birth. Breath is a core focus in Pilates, allowing you to form a mind-body connection with breath and movement, preparing you for the big day. Breathing deeply may become more difficult as the baby grows and is one of the most important qualities you can bring to your labor experience. Breath can control SO much in your body, such as relaxing your central nervous system, oxygenating your muscles, and being your biggest assistant during labor transitions and pains. The breath we teach in Pilates always translates to daily life. In this instance, breath helps control the emotional ups and downs of labor and delivery. Concentrating on your body through controlled movement actually moves the mind away from concerns or anxieties allowing you to center on the task or exercise at hand. Great practice in the delivery room!

2. Balance

As weight starts to move to the front of your body, your balance will change as your center of gravity shifts.  Strengthening the “inner unit,” or the powerhouse muscles consisting of the back, abdomen, glutes, and pelvic floor is another major focus of Pilates. This strength will assist immensely from when the weight begins to change all the way to the day you deliver. While supporting and strengthening the posterior chain through the classic Pilates exercises, we create the support needed for a coordinated ride through pregnancy.

3. Core strength and stability

Pilates exercises require constant core activation! The good news is that Pilates allows for this in most exercises without doing a crunch or flexing the spine, an exercise that is unavailable for a growing baby bump. Having a controlled engagement of the Transverse abdominus is most important for back pain and pelvic stability as your body experiences changes from pregnancy. This focus on core strength is not only beneficial for support during pregnancy but also helps create resistance against injuries and issues that could occur postpartum.

4. Posture

A pregnant woman’s posture feels compromised as the pregnant body starts to form. The Pilates form demands correct posture and strengthens small muscles that holds strong posture in the proper position. Keeping the postural muscles strong will help enormously with any potential back and hip pain. This will also help align the spine and pelvis, creating perfect alignment for a seamless birth!

5. Relaxation

Relaxation is important anytime, but especially during pregnancy, during labor, and immediately following birth. Pilates teaches the concept of relaxed activation. Relaxed activation can be described as working or activating parts of the body, while keeping the remainder of the body relaxed and decompressed. This skill alone could change your birth experience from a stressful experience to a mindful journey.

Let’s pull our Pilates foundations into the delivery room! Purposeful breathing and releasing tension to strong pelvic muscles controlling the push to meet our new loved one!

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