Services > Pre & Post Natal Pilates
Clinical Pilates and the Pregnant Pelvis
Exercise is so important during pregnancy for many reasons: it’s a time to focus on your posture and developing body, using specific exercises to gently stretch, relax and tone. But most importantly to strengthen the core stability muscles that help strengthen the back and pelvis and prevent back pain post-labour. Research also shows us that developing the core stability muscles can help for a quicker labour. The core stability muscles are highlighted by Hodges’ Model (1999) based on all previous research as a ‘cylinder of stability’. He proposes that the transverse abdominus (part of the tummy muscle) multifidus (part of the low back muscles), the diaphragm and the pelvic floor muscles form an enclosed abdominal ring which should be strong to help prevent back pain during and after pregnancy.
Back or pelvic pain can sometimes develop during and after pregnancy because certain hormonal levels are high, which makes ligaments and muscles looser and more relaxed. This can, in turn, affect the joints of the pelvis such as the sacroiliac joint and pubic symphysis and make them more ‘loose’. This can lead to pain in the back, groin or even down the leg due to the instability of the joints.
Pilates focuses on strengthening and core stability as well as posture. It can help tighten the muscles around those joints, thus easing pain and helping prevent the instability developing into further problems such as a disc bulge or chronic pain.
Pilates is becoming more and more popular for pregnant and post natal ladies, as it can help you get the most out of your pregnancy and to actually enjoy the feelings of your developing body. As well as strengthening, Pilates is also very helpful in breathing control and relaxation, which we know is very important in circulation and opening of the lower ribs and diaphragm, often compromised in pregnancy, and a general feeling of wellbeing.
You may want to know how Emma James Physio Pilates differs from normal Pilates classes you may see advertised?
All Pilates classes have been modified and developed to individual needs. For example we know that after the first trimester you need to avoid exercising flat on your back so a prop cushion is used in classes so less pressure in put on the vena cava by the uterus. We know that excessive yoga stretches are to be avoided. As already said, the hormones are acting to stretch the muscles and joints naturally and we do not want to over stretch them.
Our Pilates classes are small so your instructor can constantly monitor your position and posture so you do your exercises correctly and avoid any injury.
At Emma James Physiotherapy, we offer small pre and post natal Pilates classes as well as advice and treatment on how to manage back and pelvic pain during and after pregnancy. We can even order sacroiliac belts and supports if needed.
We are also at hand using Pilates and various other tools to help with more delicate female issues such as stress incontinence and other pelvic control issues that often develop after pregnancy or surgery in a tactful sensitive way.