Pilates and Pre/ Post Pregnancy

Pilates is a mind/body method of exercise that strengthens the most important muscles you'll use during pregnancy and labor: your abdominals, pelvic muscles and back. It's also a great choice for those days when you want to exercise but don't feel like pushing yourself too hard. The dynamic moves challenge you by helping build muscular endurance (you'll need lots of that for labor and delivery!), flexibility and, most importantly, good balance, something you'll need as pregnancy progresses.

The guidelines stated by the American Council on Exercise are not as hard-and-fast as they used to be. However, research suggests that no new exercise routine should be started during your first trimester. As well, you should be careful of over-exerting the abdominal muscles. During the second trimester these muscles become stretched out, and some women experience diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). With reduced support for the back, you also run the risk of injuring the lower back. Further, because of the increased amounts of relaxin and progesterone released in the body during pregnancy, the ligaments surrounding the joints become lax, which leaves them loose and vulnerable. For this reason, you should be careful not to over-stretch. It is important, though, to continue strengthening and rebalancing the muscles around the joints.

In general, we teach that it is better to be safe and not take any chances. In the second trimester we still do some Matwork but we make sure that the upper torso is raised. We then alternate the inclined position with sitting, kneeling and standing exercises done on Mat, Reformer and Cadillac.

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