Postnatal Pilates exercises are the best way to help your mind and body recover from all the stress during pregnancy.
Some of these stressful conditions include abdominal separation, weak pelvic floor muscles, poor posture, and swelling. Not to mention a few psychological effects of weight gain like low self-confidence.
So, while these things are normal for mums to experience during and after pregnancy, giving less priority to healing and recovery can lead to other kinds of health problems. The good news though is that there are Pilates exercises for mums and bubs that you can now follow to bounce back!
If you’re at 6th week postnatal, read on and get your pre baby body back!
Why join the postnatal Pilates bandwagon?
Pilates can reduce the risk of developing postnatal depression (PND) – Research has shown that 1 in 9 women experience PND with symptoms starting to appear within one month of delivery.
But with exercise interventions done to 932 women, researchers found that physical activities like Pilates, aerobics, and yoga have significantly reduced the onset of PND symptoms.
Recover from Diastasis Recti – This condition occurs when your rectus abdominal muscles separate from each other due to the expansion of your uterus and growth of the fetus. So, your abs are forced to split from the midline to accommodate them.
What postnatal Pilates does is help you strengthen not only your abs but also your pelvic floor muscles.
Improve your posture – During those months of carrying your bub, your body has been in a lot of internal pressure that it changes the center of your gravity. And the pressure doesn’t end at childbirth, because during postnatal, bending down to pick up your child and holding him up can also affect your posture.
Incorporating Pilates into a pregnancy physiotherapy treatment plan will train you to build stronger core muscles at home or in classes. You will also be able to engage those muscles whenever you need it.
It’s a treat you deserve – Attending postnatal Pilates classes can be a fun and exciting way to socialize with other mums (and bubs). Yes, you can even bring your little one with you and develop a deeper bond with him through Pilates.
Ready to get on with it? BUT before anything else, here are a few things you must take in mind.
3 Considerations before you get started with Postnatal Pilates
Get clearance from your doctor – Make sure that you’re clear to start any type of exercise postnatal.
Speak with your doctor if you have diastasis recti – Some are unfortunate to develop the worse kind of diastasis recti. It’s where the gap between the abdominal muscles is more than two fingers wide! So, anything more than this warrants special medical attention and treatment from a local physiotherapist before you could return to exercise.
Condition your body first – Specifically your pelvic floor! It’s not worth it to rush your body to going back to extreme physical activities. You might injure yourself and cause more harm than good. During the first four weeks after childbirth, take light walks and meditation exercises.
5 Postnatal Pilates Exercises for Mums and Bubs
Finally, here are a few postnatal Pilates exercises you can get started with. Repeat these steps as many as you can. Some of them are demonstrated in the video below. As you can see Pilates is time well spent with your baby.
1. Pelvic Lifts
Focus: Pelvic lifts to reduce lower back pain.
Lie on your mat and relax your hands on your stomach.
Straighten up your chest and shoulders, keep your neck long. Engage your abdominal muscles to raise your pelvis towards the ceiling and exhale. Roll your spine off the Pilates mat and keep your form straight and nice.
Focus: To strengthen your core muscles.
Lie your bub safely on the mat while you’re above him in a planking position. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Focus: To strengthen your arms.
With your bub underneath you, start on your knees and each time you push down, give him a kiss and then push yourself up.
Focus: To strengthen your upper shoulders and thighs.
Hold your bub close to your chest and lunge. If you can, extend your arms and raise your bub like Lion King with Simba.
5. Wall Squat
Focus: To strengthen your quad muscles and knees.
Stand against a wall. Open your shoulders and chest and keep a straight standing position. Sit down like there’s an invisible chair and raise your arms forward (and hold your bub, if you can).
Hold this position for 5 seconds (or more).
There you have it, the top postnatal Pilates exercises for new mums. Now go and work on getting that pre baby body back today!