Preparing to give birth with Pilates
Birth symbolizes the culmination of pregnancy and the long awaited encounter with the baby. The unique and emotional moment, childbirth requires preparation. Prenatal Pilates courses can be a great physical and moral support for D-Day.
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The Undeniable Benefits of Pilates
- Prenatal Pilates is specially designed for pregnant women: it is a variation of the Pilates method, invented in the United States in the 1920s.
- The Pilates method is a gentle gym that allows both to relax and to firm up its body. Ideally suited to expectant mothers, Prenatal Pilates is a set of exercises to be performed with the help of a teacher. Indeed, a pregnant woman sees her body changing over the months. Located below the lower abdomen, the perineum can be weakened due to the weight of the baby. The role of the Pilates method is, therefore, to strengthen your muscles and reduce pain in the back and pelvis. You can re-tame your body and live your pregnancy as serenely as possible.
- In addition to adopting a better posture and regaining your tone, you help baby to position correctly for the day of delivery. This will facilitate dilation of the cervix.
- The Pilates method is also beneficial emotionally: it reduces stress and helps you to acquire breathing techniques for D-Day. The quality of sleep is therefore better!
Pilates: Exercises adapted to future mothers
- A prenatal Pilates session is conducted by a professional and lasts about an hour. The exercises meet your needs and take into account your physical condition. They run safely and allow you to work your posture as well as your deep muscles.
- Some movements are made on the floor, on a rubber mat. The teacher then suggests you use different accessories. Among them, the pregnancy ball is essential: it helps to relieve your back, improve your blood circulation and work your suppleness and balance. Other accessories provide real well-being: the circle is used for muscle strengthening, and elastic bands are essential for stretching. As for small balls, they help to execute the movements well.
Pilates: A few tips before you get started
- No need to be experienced in Pilates to perform the various exercises. This method is suitable for all women from the first month of pregnancy.
- Some precautions must be taken before going to your first class. It is essential to talk to your obstetrician before starting any physical activity.
- The Pilates method helps to prepare for childbirth and aims to relax you. The sessions, therefore, do not replace regular medical follow-up. You will be able to continue the Pilates until the end of your pregnancy (the different exercises will be adapted), all in a convivial atmosphere. Consider taking breaks and hydrating regularly during the session.
7 Pilates exercises
As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity moves. To maintain balance, you may tend to bend over and pay attention to the back! To work your posture and strengthen your back, here are seven pilates exercises.
Rotate your neck
Starting position: Lie on your back, legs folded, arms extended along the body.
Visualize an 8 in your head and draw it with the tip of your nose.
This exercise relieves tension in the shoulders and neck. It also helps to find a neutral posture.
From the 6th month of pregnancy, this exercise can be performed sitting or standing.
Starting position: Lie on your back, legs folded, feet are parallel and slightly apart, arms extended along the body, palms flat.
Starting from the coccyx, lift the vertebrae one by one at 20 cm from the ground, until forming a bridge. Exhale. The weight of the body now rests on the shoulders.
Hold for a few seconds. Inhale. When exhaling, rest each vertebra slowly.
This exercise strengthens the buttocks and back.
The big back
On all fours, the back straight, stretch the head forward.
When exhaling, push the pelvis upwards. The spine and head follow until your body draws a curve as if you were doing the big back.
Then, inhaling, gradually resume the starting position with the back straight.
The posture of the embryo
Sit on your heels, knees slightly apart to leave room for your belly.
Lean forward until your forehead touches the carpet. The arms are along the body, palms in the air.
Focus on your breathing.
These relaxation exercises, as well as the following, can be performed in the order you desire.
Alternative for advanced pregnancies: Lying sideways on the carpet, head resting on the forearm, legs bent at right angles.
Sitting on an exercise ball or a chair, the forearms are crossed on the chest. The back is straight, the pelvis stable.
When exhaling, rotate your bust and head to the left, to the shoulders, while stretching upward.
Inspiring, return to the initial position. Change the side.
For this exercise, take a towel or stretch tape.
You are camped on your legs, knees slightly bent. Hold the towel with both hands away from your belly, wrists straight.
As you exhale, lift the towel over your head, arms straight. The shoulders are hollowed out.
Inspire the towel under the head by bending your elbows.
To make the exercise a little harder, you can further stretch the towel and maintain traction. When exhaling, stretch the arms over the head again. Inhaling, lower your arms slowly to the belly.
Lying on the side, hold your head with your right arm.
The spine is straight, and the legs form an angle of 45 ° with the body.
Lift the leg from the top and, when exhaling, kick forward …
… by inspiring, return to the initial position. Change the side. It is over!
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