Exercise In Pregnancy

Exercise In Pregnancy

Ante-Natal PilatesRegular physical activity during pregnancy has a positive effect on the psychological and physical conditioning of the woman during and post pregnancy. As a woman’s body develops and the baby bump grows, her centre of gravity will move forward.  This may alter the shape of the spine, which will have an impact on the person’s posture. Any changes in posture can have an affect on the core muscles of the body.  These include the gluteal or bum muscles, which support the pelvis, the transversus abdominis muscle, which supports the back and the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and bowel. These all work together to help support and stabilise the back and pelvis.  Pelvic and back pain during pregnancy can occur without the correct activation of these muscles.

Ante natal Pilates during pregnancy focuses on exercises and stretches to help strengthen the core and stabilise the pelvis. They help strengthen the gluteal, pelvic floor and transversus abdominis muscles to help improve posture to reduce the risk of developing back pain, pelvic pain and other associated disorders such as symphysis pubis dysfunction.  Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles will provide a stronger support for the growing baby and reduce the incidence of urinary incontinence during labour and after delivery. 

Safe exercises to do while pregnant include walking, swimming, stationary cycling and modified Pilates type exercises. If you have been a runner or physically active before becoming pregnant then it is safe to continue with your current activity, provided you have been cleared by your doctor or midwife. If you are not currently active, you can start slowly and build up gradually by walking 15 minutes per day, 3-4 times weekly. You should aim to achieve 30-45 minutes daily as you progress. A combination of strengthening and aerobic type exercises will work best to ensure you are strong throughout, during and after the pregnancy.

Chartered Physiotherapist Danielle Gavagan

Danielle Gavagan

Danielle Gavaghan MISCP

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