I’m a strong advocate for exercise through out life and what better time to maintain this as when creating another life.
Years ago in Melbourne I studied the benefits of Physiotherapy guided exercise during pregnancy in Antenatal and Post-natal Pilates. Now pregnant myself I am lucky enough to utilize that, my Physiotherapy knowledge and also share it with you.
Benefits of Physio guided exercise during pregnancy
- Pre assessment with the Physiotherapist determines your individual needs and requirements for any modifications
- Injuries, aches and pains can be specifically addressed whilst keeping the flow of your exercise class
- Specific exercises are tailored to your level of pregnancy and adjusted according to how you feel on the day.
- Exercises that target pelvic girdle stability are taught with mindful awareness of your changing body.
- Promotion of postural awareness as your belly grows and centre of gravity changes
- Functional exercises for strength to maintain ideal postures in preparation for labour and control in lifting and breast feeding
- Boosts circulation of blood and lymph to aide possible fluid retention and swollen hands and feet
- Overall sense of well being and healthy body image as your body changes
- Breath control to assist stress management and help during labour and birth
- Safe and appropriate stretches and movements to manage tension and support ligaments as your body produces more relaxin
- Efficient and correct PFM activation to decrease weakness and stretching during pregnancy (note: its also just as important to be able to relax these muscles)
- Sleep improvement and reduction of restless legs
Exercise key points
- Listen to your body – you may need to take frequent rests and work at a lower intensity than you would have pre pregnancy
- It is advisable to consult your obstetrician if undertaking new or more challenging exercise routines to pre pregnancy and essential during higher risk pregnancies
- Avoid exercising when it is hot and humid so you don’t overheat
- Stay hydrated by taking small regular sips of water
- Have a light snack 30mins-1hour prior to exercise
- Do not exercise flat on your back after 16 weeks or earlier if the weight of your belly may cause you to feel light headed. You may prop up your upper body with pillows so semi reclined
- No abdominal crunches after the first trimester – best to focus on pelvic floor and posture during pregnancy than your 6 pack! Plus there are many appropriate preggy exercises you can do to maintain tone and strength
- Move slowly from positions to avoid getting dizzy or lightheaded
- Consider assessment of your pelvic floor muscles with a qualified physiotherapist prior to pregnancy or if you develop any leakage during pregnancy
If you experience any of the following stop and seek advice from your midwife or obstetrician.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breath before reaching your normal exertion limit
- Chest pain
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Difficulty walking
Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise you can do during pregnancy to keep your body in perfect shape, prevent injury, optimise posture and prepare for labour.
Stay poised for my next blog where I would love to share 5 of my personal favourite pregnancy exercises.