Pilates in pregnancy: benefits for the expectant mother

Pilates in pregnancy: benefits for the expectant mother

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The practice of the Pilates method during pregnancy is very useful to help future moms to adapt to new changes. It does not matter if there was no class before, even if its existence was unknown, can be practiced from any time of pregnancy until the last day, as long as the pregnancy is not risky. The method works on breathing, postural correction, elasticity and the pelvic floor.

The pregnant woman will experience changes in her body from the first days. These changes range from musculo-skeletal, anatomical, hormonal, circulatory, cardiopulmonary to alterations in sleep cycles, among others. Actually, the woman's body is experiencing a crisis, understanding crisis as sudden change, and also, these changes occur within a rapid process. In nine months, the woman will change, transform, adapt, prepare and do so to meet all the baby's needs.

The woman's uterus is the one that undergoes a major transformation. It is a pelvic organ, but during most of pregnancy, it becomes abdominal because the space is not limited by bone structures and allows more freedom to welcome the growing baby. This fact involves variations such as displacement of the visceral organs, increased pressure on the bladder, distension of the abdominal muscles, and increased curves of the spine, in turn displacing the line of gravity. Future moms take on a new posture; in reality, it is a protective posture towards the baby and preparation for delivery. It is done unconsciously. On the one hand, they 'close' (turn) towards the baby, 'protect' it with their postural attitude, and on the other hand, they spread the legs more apart to provoke the opening of the pelvis, as necessary at the time of delivery as for be able to walk, counteracting changes in balance.

The basis of Pilates is the Power House, which is located right where the baby is going to grow. The knowledge of how to activate this area, how to maintain the optimal tone of the muscles during pregnancy, how work the pelvic floor, of how to breathe, will cause, among other benefits, the reduction of back pain, greater stability and containment of the baby, it also reduces the risk of the separation of the rectums due to the logical distension of the abdominals, preserves the respiratory capacity and prevents stress urinary incontinence.

Also, as from the work of the 'mansion of power' also the rest of the body is worked, helps to gain physical resistance, so necessary to face childbirth, and activates circulation. A very complete method that pregnant women can benefit from.

The Pilates method was born at the beginning of the 20th century by the German Joseph Humbertus Pilates. Joseph was a sickly child, suffering from asthma and rickets. A doctor, a friend of the family, gave him an anatomy book. As a result of this gift and due to his desire to know himself well, he devised a method where he combined the principles of different disciplines, such as yoga and gymnastics, with his knowledge of rehabilitation, all coordinated with mind control and breathing.

In its origins, Joseph called it Contrology (contrology), the art of the mind to control the body and gave the name of Powerhouse (Mansion of power), to the set of muscles formed by the transverse abdominis, the diaphragm, the obliques, the rectus abdominis, paravertebral, buttocks and all those that make up the pelvic floor, that is, the set of muscles, external and internal, between the ribs and the pelvic floor. These muscles have the function of supporting the spine, the organs and ensuring correct posture, achieving, among other benefits, preventing back pain.

Marián Zamora Saborit
Physiotherapist. Pilates Technician
Psychomotor in Early Childhood Education

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