Staying active during your pregnancy is another important way of staying healthy. Not only is exercise good for you physically, but it helps relieve stress, improve sleep and boost your mood. However, being pregnant, especially later on in your pregnancy, means that you’ll need to consider what exercise you’re doing. Contact and high-risk sports are a no-no, but if you are looking for a way to stay fit, prenatal yoga and pilates could be your answer.
Why yoga and pilates?
Prenatal yoga and pilates can help you strengthen your body, stop excess weight gain and help prepare your body for childbirth. Both are low impact and can be adjusted to suit you and your growing baby.
During your pregnancy, you may experience backache, aching legs and abdominal pain. Providing nothing serious is wrong, yoga and pilates can help alleviate pain through strengthening your body. Prenatal yoga and pilates classes are specifically tailored to expecting moms, so should be completely safe unless you are recommended otherwise.
Getting ready for birth
Not only can these practices help reduce stress and anxiety, but they can also help you during childbirth. The combo of stretching and strengthening your body should mean that your body is more equipped to deal with the stress of labour and birth. Strong core and pelvic will help support your spine and help you during birth.
Joining prenatal yoga and pilates classes will help you connect with other expecting moms and, a professional can guide you through which poses are best for you throughout your pregnancy.
Not only can yoga help you physically, but the breathing techniques you’ve learnt can help calm and focus you during labour.
Is there anything I should be cautious of or avoid?
Although good for you, there are still certain yoga and pilates poses and exercises that you should avoid during your pregnancy. If you are new to yoga and pilates, most studios offer prenatal classes for beginners, and, if you are practising already you can probably continue with most of your practice, just let your instructor know you’re expecting – they can help you modify your routine.
Things to be cautious of are hot yoga, full inversions (poses on your head), deep twists and exercises that cause you to crunch your abdominal cavity.
Your body is in constant flux as your baby develops, meaning some days you’ll feel energised whereas otherwise will leave you feeling drained. Because of this, it’s important that you are aware of how your body is feeling while practising. If you notice anything unusual or painful it’s best to chat with your doctor.