During pregnancy many changes occur to the female body. Hormonal and physiological changes can cause musculoskeletal pain conditions to arise. This can lead to a reduced quantity and quality of sleep, increased mental stress and a reduced ability to exercise comfortably. Commonly these complications arise around the lumbar, pelvic, and pubic regions but women can also experience mid back or thoracic and abdominal pain due to the pregnancy.
Some studies suggest as many as 30% of pregnant women develop pain severe enough it interferes with their level of function and quality of life. This can be driven by the postural changes, loosening of the pelvic ligaments and increased pressure on the stabilising muscles of the abdominal and pelvic floor region. [i]
Physical therapy and exercise for pregnant women focuses on reducing their pain complaints during pregnancy, maintaining full strength and function as well as best prepare the female body for the delivery and subsequent carrying and caring of the baby. There is a focus on strength, endurance and capability of the pelvic floor muscles as well as the muscles around the pelvis and lower back to reduce the likelihood or intensity of back pain.
Studies have shown that women undertaking Pilates specific to pregnancy reduced the progression of diastasis, increased abdominal and pelvic floor strength, lumbopelvic stabilisation, functional capacity, and quality of life.
Reformer Pilates is a great way to keep the focus areas strong and keep fit and active whilst being safe with exercise during pregnancy. Complimenting in class groups with a personalised home exercise program that women can complete allows for strength to be achieved 3-4X a week and progress strength and reduce pain sooner.
If you are pregnant and not sure what exercise is best and safe for you, come in and see the team for an assessment to get moving with pilates or establish a home exercise program with exercises right for you to ensure the best outcomes during pregnancy and postnatally.