Every woman’s body goes through monumental changes as she grows and births her baby. During pregnancy, her lower back and abdominal muscles are weakened. Her joints and ligaments are also more supple and less stable. This means a gentle form of exercise like Pilates is perfect for getting back into the swing of things.

Post-natal pilates classes are a low-impact way to improve your muscle tone, your strength and your balance. Here are just a few of the ways pilates can help you after the delivery of your baby:

It Can Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
There’s no getting away from it. Your pelvic floor has a hard time during pregnancy and delivery. Pelvic floor exercises were pr
obably an important part of your pregnancy routine but you should continue to do them once you’ve had your baby too. Many pilates movements require you to engage your pelvic floor. Working on your pelvic floor in this way will reduce your chance of stress, incontinence and a later prolapse.

It Can Rebuild Your Core
In order to accommodate a growing baby, your body has made a lot of changes. Your abdominal muscles may have separated. At the very least they will have stretched and expanded. This puts pressure on your back as your abdominal muscles are no longer pulling their weight as part of your core. Pilates helps you to strengthen the core muscles around your back and abdomen. Specific movements also target the deep abdominal muscles which will help to stabilise your spine.

It Can Balance Your Body
As a new mum, your body is likely out of kilter. You’ve spent months working to balance out an increasingly heavy bump.
You may also putting your body into off-balance positions when you feed or carry your baby. This can lead to different aches and pains as some muscles are put under strain they’re not used to. Pilates develops strength in all of your muscles and helps you to be more aware of any imbalances. Regular classes will help you find good posture and rebalance both sides of your body.

It Can Help You To Feel Relaxed
A big part of
pilates is breathing and focus. Breaths are taken to coincide and support the movements you make. Focus is required to single out the muscle groups you’re being asked to use by your instructor. Both of these things require your full concentration. Concerned about the baby’s feeding pattern? Or pondering a criticism your mother-in-law made? A pilates class is a place where you can forget some of the stresses of parenthood and spend some precious time taking care of yourself.

It Can Give you A Social Outlet
When you’re a new mum, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by other new mums. This can be a great support and a much needed lifeline. You may even find yourself
feeling isolated in comparison to your past life. But finding non-mummy friends can also help you to feel more like the old you. At a pilates class you’ll have the chance to meet new people and chat about things other than nappies and breastmilk.

New mums may take a little time to feel ready for exercise. Those who experienced a complicated or caesarean birth may need a little longer. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or midwife before embarking on any new fitness regime after delivery.

But when you’ve decided you’re ready, a Pilates class is a sure fire way to get you feeling fit and healthy again. Pilates will help you to recover from the effects of pregnancy and labour. And it will give you the much needed ‘me’ time you seek as a new mum.

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