Postpartum Pilates: What are the Benefits?
Are you a new mum, and considering Postpartum Pilates? Of course I am biased but I can’t emphasise enough how much I believe ALL women need to be doing restorative Pilates as part of their rehabilitation from birth. There is no arguing with the fact that pregnancy and labour put a level of strain onto the body and (after a suitable recovery period when you have been signed off by your GP), it is so important that you start to rehabilitate your pelvic floor, abdominals and learn to work with the new body that you have as a mum.
What are the benefits of Pilates in the postpartum period?
Physical health benefits of Postpartum Pilates
- Increases body awareness, well being and self confidence – having an awareness of HOW you move is key to making changes and improvements to your day to day movement patterns
- Improves breathing and abdominal support harmoniously with each other – this is the foundation of your core function for the rest of your life and must be worked on to allow your core to function properly
- We can work to both release and strengthen the muscles of the upper back which take a lot of strain when feeding a baby for hours on end
- Focussing on breathing will help to rebalance your postnatal body, provide relaxation and enable the diaphragms – thoracic and pelvic – to move freely again
- Improves core stability and strength in order to help to support the postural demands of life with a baby – it is often underestimated the physical toll that looking after a tiny person has on your body! It is so important to gently build strength to support the day to day challenges you face.
- Improves general circulation, blood flow, drainage, fitness and stamina
- A low impact and gentle exercise system that will increase energy and endorphin levels
- Encourages safe transitory movements for everyday life – learning how to use your breath, how to squat, lunge and get on and off the floor will make a huge difference to your recovery.
- Encourages improved postural and muscular support in functional movements for life with a baby
- Provides education about the pelvic floor which may help to recover from childbirth
- Can address muscular imbalances and instability in the lower back and pelvis as well as restoring and stabilising pelvic floor related injuries and weakness
- Ongoing postural assessments will increase awareness of posture particularly while feeding/lifting/carrying and will help towards regaining stability.
- Align body to recover centre of gravity which can be lost during pregnancy
- Can improve strength and alignment to help avoid/improve symptoms of conditions such as PGP, carpal tunnel syndrome and Diastasis Recti following pregnancy
Mental health benefits of Postpartum Pilates
- Social interaction and meeting other mums – whether that is in person or online, the feeling of community is so important for new mums and the value of this cannot be underestimated
- Allows for a person-centred approach and individual adaptations – putting on a youtube video just isn’t the same as having a teacher who has taken the time to know your birth story, your history and your goals for your postnatal body
- We can design a programme taking into consideration the type of birth you had and your experience of birth so you will feel supported and nurtured but challenged by the exercises
- Provides relaxation, mindfulness and calm – and we all need some of that in our lives right now!
- May help to lower levels of stress, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety
- Creating some time that is just for you feels so good and helps you to remember who you are
If any of the above resonates with you, please check out our online Postpartum Pilates classes.