Pilates & Pregnancy

Is Pilates safe during pregnancy? What are the benefits? We get asked these questions often when it comes to Perinatal Pilates. Not only is it safe to practice Pilates throughout your pregnancy, it is also beneficial in supporting your growing body through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond.

What exactly are the benefits? Here are some of our favorites….

  • Reduces stress. During pregnancy, your stress hormone, cortisol, becomes elevated. By practicing Pilates and paying attention to your breath, you can reduce your cortisol levels and decrease your stress.
  • Increase energy. It’s no surprise that when you are pregnant, you will go through some fatigue. Pilates can help increase your energy levels by…….
  • Reduces or eliminates low back pain. By learning how to adapt to your body changes throughout pregnancy, understanding the shift in your center of gravity and working on stabilizing muscles in your pelvic floor, glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, and back, an expectant mom can carry the baby pain-free.
  • Reduces chances of Diastasis Recti. Research has proven that women who exercise early in their pregnancies, focusing on the development of strong and flexible abdominals, with a focus on transerve abdominal activation, are less likely to develop diastasis recti. At Vessel, we strive to teach expectant moms how to safely and efficiently strengthen their core to support their growing bellies.
  • Bounce back quicker after delivery. It is known that strong, flexible abdominal muscles bounce back faster after delivery with special attention to breathwork and mind-body connection learned in Pilates.
  • Less likely to experience postpartum depression. Exercise has been proven to decrease the chances of developing depression by the release of endorphins, our happy hormone. Socializing during exercise can also help spike our oxytocin, which is another happy hormone released when bonding with your baby and connecting with others.
  • Conditions Body for Labor and Birth. In Pilates, the mom-to-be learns different patterns of breathing, how to connect with her core and pelvic floor, and strengthen her transverse abdominals. All of which will prepare the body for labor and delivery.
  • Prevention of Urinary Incontinence. Urinary Incontinence is common after pregnancy, but can be treated and possibly prevented in some cases by doing Pilates due to the mom-to-be learning proper pelvic floor conditioning and core activation.
  • Improves balance. Pilates can help strengthen your body to help stabilize during pregnancy and regain control and balance to prevent injury. A drop in hormones, such as testosterone, and increase of relaxin, causes joint instability resulting in loss of balance and prone to injury.

Ultimately, Pilates can help teach pregnant women how to trust their bodies, relax and enjoy their journey. Listening to and learning what their bodies need, opening to changes taking place within their bodies, and how to safely strengthen their growing bodies to set them up for labor and delivery.

“I cannot say enough positive things about my experience working out at Vessel during my recent pregnancy and prior to. The support and knowledge from Jessica and all the instructors was extremely helpful as I had not worked out during my first pregnancy. I quickly learned how amazing Pilates, Barre, etc. is especially to our changing bodies during pregnancy and the instructors were all great about recommending certain modifications as my belly grew.  I had zero back pain and I truly believe I owe it all to the classes at Vessel.  Thank you Jessica, Alyssa, Jennifer, and Heather for working with me and helping me discover how strong of a woman I am.”

– Shanna

If you are a pregnant woman in the Kingwood and surrounding area, you are in luck! Vessel Pilates founder and Pilates teacher, Jessica Sowyrda, is certified and specializes in Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates and is a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist. Have questions? Please email jessica@vesselpilates.com.

Stay tuned for our insight on how Pilates can play a crucial role in postpartum recovery!

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