Thinking about trying out prenatal Pilates? You may be wondering if it’s a good fit, and whether it’s safe for your baby. The good news is, if you’re in generally good health, then prenatal Pilates can be a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy. Of course, with any exercise regimen, there are factors to consider. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any new workout program!
What is Prenatal Pilates?
Pilates is a system of exercise designed to strengthen your core muscles and increase your flexibility. It’s very popular among dancers! Typically, Pilates uses exercise bands and other types of specialized equipment. Prenatal Pilates takes the concepts in regular Pilates, but adapts them more towards pregnant women.
Theoretically, you don’t really NEED a specialized class if you are already doing Pilates. If you’re familiar with the workout, then you already know your limits. Prenatal Pilates classes are good for those who either don’t really understand the program or want to be extra certain that they’re doing the right moves for their baby’s safety. We recommend the following videos to help you get started (affiliate links included):
Benefits of Prenatal Pilates
Doing Pilate during pregnancy has different benefits for each trimester. Take a look at some benefits of prenatal pilates:
- First Trimester: Focuses on increasing your overall core strength and maintaining muscle memory. The latter is what will help your body bounce back faster after your baby is born. It kind of reminds your muscles of the shape they were in pre-baby!
- Second Trimester: As your belly grows, your center of gravity shifts quite a bit! During this stage, prenatal Pilates focuses on helping you increase your balance and strengthen those core muscles to aid in proper posture. This can go a LONG way to easing back pain!
- Third Trimester: Focuses on getting you ready for labor! During this phase, you’ll work on your pelvic muscles quite a bit. This may help you with labor pain, especially if you are planning on going the all-natural route!
- 4 Exercise Tips for a Better Pregnancy
- Yoga for pregnant women: is it a good fit?
- Stay Comfy & Get Fit in these Pregnancy Workout Clothes
Prenatal Pilates Safety
The number one rule of exercise safety during pregnancy is don’t overdo it! Know your limits and accept them. This is not the time to push boundaries. Other safety rules for prenatal Pilates include:
- Avoid over-reaching and over-stretching. Your muscles and joints are completely different during pregnancy. It’s easy to go too far and feel the consequences later. Think of your body as a rubber band. It only has so much give. When you stretch a rubber band too far, it may hold up, but it ends up weaker and with small tears. Don’t be a worn-out rubber band!
- Go slow. Keep your movements slow and fluid, not quick and jerky. If you’re rushing to get through the workout, then obviously it isn’t an enjoyable experience. Find another form of exercise during pregnancy!
- Stay off your back in your third trimester. Skip the exercises that require you to lay flat on your back once you reach the last stage of your pregnancy. Also, avoid crunches and exercises that require you to lift your feet way above head level.
- Listen to your doctor! If your doctor or midwife advises against certain exercises, please listen to them. You may think that you know your own boundaries, but they usually have a good reason for giving restrictions.
As long as you use common sense and go slow, prenatal Pilates can be a great way to increase your overall strength during pregnancy!
Did you do prenatal Pilates? Do you have any advice?