Once baby comes those workout sessions will be harder to keep up, all your energy will be focused on the little one. Now is the time to give to yourself and to prepare your body & mind for the remarkable days ahead. Newborns take energy so it is important that you have the physical and mental strength necessary to be fully engaged with your newly born child.
Most new mothers have no idea just how much time it takes to care for their little one. You may think you’ll have time to exercise, maybe even have time for your hobby, after all you’ll have lots of time while your little one is sleeping, right? Not so! Some days you’ll be lucky to even get a shower in! It is important that you take the time now to get your body strong and your energy balanced for the days ahead when your newborn’s needs come first.
Fit First Pilates is a great way to stay active and prepare your body for childbirth. It is well known that women who exercise during pregnancy have shorter labors, fewer complications and higher APGAR scores (a test given at birth to the newborn to measure how well it is doing through appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration).
Fit First Pilates will help you to strengthen your core, lower back and more importantly your Pelvic Floor. The Pelvic Floor is a group of muscles, tissues and ligaments that support and protect the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina and rectum during pregnancy and birth. It is the foundation of your core and vitally important to have a strong Pelvic Floor during childbirth. There are many Fit First Pilates exercises that target strengthening the pelvic floor, for example the knee fold is a low-impact exercise that gently tones your pelvic floor muscles.
In addition to strengthening your core, Fit First Pilates will help you with your balance. As your baby grows your center of gravity will change and you may experience ‘being off balance’. Your hormonal changes cause increased flexibility in the joints and muscles and you are more likely to strain muscles, trip or fall. Fit First Pilates can help you stay safe by improving your balance and posture through targeted exercises.
Maybe the best way Fit First Pilates can help you prepare for labor and birth is through the focused breath work and mind-body connection that is essential to exercise. Breathing plays a big role in labor as it helps you to focus and release the natural instinct to tighten your muscles, keeping you more relaxed.
A note of caution:
It is extremely important that you first check with your doctor and/or midwife before beginning any exercise routine. Also you will want to work with a trained instructor, at least to begin with. Just as you wouldn’t start prenatal care without a doctor or midwife, or a nutrition program without a nutritionist you shouldn’t start Pilates without the guidance of trained Pilates instructor. Even if you are experienced in Pilates you need to check with your doctor/midwife before you begin, and work with an instructor to ensure you are exercising safely.
Fit First Pilates teaches the exercise principles of centering, the flow of breath, mind-body control and relaxation, all of which are helpful skills you can bring to your labor & delivery and to the care of your newborn.
For more information on Fit First Pilates during pregnancy, visit Fit First Pilates