I have been fortunate to become a Mum myself and so have experienced first-hand the effects that pregnancy has on the body. This prompted me to add a new class to my timetable: ‘Pilates for New Mums’.


Pilates will help re-strengthen abdominal muscles, relieve back pain and strain and help correct muscle in-balances from pregnancy.

 

It doesn't matter if you have never done Pilates before.

Pilates is great for every new Mum.

 

The transition to motherhood is a notoriously demanding time when Mum’s needs often become neglected. Furthermore, it can take a lot of discipline to exercise after having recently given birth but you will be taking important steps towards recovery from the delivery and regaining your former pre-pregnancy body. 

 

It has been shown that a mother who is regularly exercising and eating healthily is more able to deal with the emotional stress, sleep deprivation and physical exertion of her new role.

 

Regaining abdominal strength is crucial – the muscles in this area support your back and help you avoid the aches and pains from the daily activities that come with motherhood. As new Mothers we spend a lot of time bending over changing nappies and feeding, so we will be working on strengthening the upper back and shoulder area, improving posture. Also, we will be concentrating on adopting the correct lifting technique, which will be useful for when our little ones start to get heavier, not to mention all the lugging around of baby paraphernalia! Even pushing the pram or pushchair will be easier if our abs are strong.

 

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in our body: our centre of gravity moves forward, muscles tighten or loosen accordingly and the added weight puts pressure on knees, ankles and feet. Weak joints, low energy, lack of muscle strength, urinary incontinence and the lack of a babysitter can all get in the way of a vigorous mid-morning jog but Pilates is a great way to regain strength and stamina while protecting our joints.

 

Many pregnant women suffer from instability around the pelvic area. Pain and strain in the sacro-iliac joint and symphasis pubis dysfunction can both be helped by executing the appropriate Pilates exercises.

And what about that infamous pelvic floor? During the course of our pregnancies, our pelvic floors had the job of helping to hold our uterus in place, carrying the weight of the baby, plus all the extra fluid particularly if, like me, you suffered from water retention. Elevated hormones will also have weakened the pelvic floor and, if you had a natural birth, the additional trauma to the pelvic floor from the delivery will result in these muscles becoming devastatingly weakened after you've given birth. We will be doing exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor which will encourage the flow of blood to the area to help the healing process. Even if you have had a Caesarean birth your pelvic floor might still have been weakened during the pregnancy.

If you’re still not convinced, here are 10 reasons you should give it a go:

1.         You can take baby along with you to the class.

2.         It improves posture and alignment of the body.

3.         It alleviates neck and back problems commonly brought on by pregnancy.

4.         It increases mobility and flexibility.

5.         It helps stabilise the pelvic area which has been under enormous pressure during pregnancy.

6.         It reduces stress and tension and gives you some ‘me’ time.

7.         It helps balance and coordination.

8.         It makes daily tasks easier to perform (feeding, changing, carrying the car seat, pushing the pram, to name but a few).

9.         It gives you the opportunity to meet up with other Mums.

10.       It’s a pleasurable, gentle form of exercise - no pain, plenty of gain!

As well as the physical benefits, mentally you will begin to feel more calm and relaxed.

 

By bringing together body and mind, Pilates teaches you to be in control of your body, and allows you to handle stress more effectively and achieve relaxation more easily.

 

 

 

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