It’s common knowledge that pregnancy can bring about some discomfort at times, particularly from around the 20 week mark right through to birth and sometimes post birth. The primary conditions are lower back pain and pelvic pain.
Lower back pain is usually felt across the lumbar spine and around your waist. During pregnancy, your centre of gravity and posture changes due to your expanding uterus. The extra pregnancy weight places additional pressure on your joints and this alone means that your muscles have to work harder and there is an increased stress placed on your joints.
Pelvic pain is often found in the back of the pelvis. It is often caused due to the hormonal changes, which loosen the pelvic joints and ligaments.
You will often hear people say things like ‘it’s just the way it is’ or ‘you will just have to put up with it’ however this is not the case.
If you are planning to have a baby:
This is the best time to get kick started on your pregnancy Pilates routine. Your energy will most likely be higher than at times throughout your first trimester and you will have extra motivation for exercising (remember: a healthy body helps with conception so there are multiple benefits during this stage) so don’t put it off.
Where to start:
Book in for a FREE Pilates Body Assessment with a Physio. Don’t be afraid to let them know that pregnancy is on the cards for you. This will allow them to know which areas to focus on first. More often than not, your glute (bottom) muscles will warrant strengthening as well as your transverse abdominus (part of your abdominals). The stronger your glutes and core are prior to pregnancy the easier you will find exercise during pregnancy, not to mention the birthing process. Pre-pregnancy is the ideal time to start Reformer Pilates.
If you are already pregnant:
Hello baby mama! Congratulations! Now is the time to build a nourishing strong body. Although you may be lacking energy at times, you will often find that a light pregnancy Pilates session guided by a Pilates physio or exercise physiologist will leave you feeling much better. In saying that, there will be times where you may find it tough enough just to get up from the chair – usually this will only happen during the first trimester so have no fear – it will usually get better! Still try to get outside for a 15-30 minute walk on these days.
Where to start:
Book in your FREE Pilates Body Assessment with a Physio – ideally one who is experienced in using a real time ultrasound. Be sure to let them know that you are pregnant on your first session. During your first few consultations you will have a pelvic floor assessment using the real time ultrasound. It is great to have this done early on in your pregnancy so that you have maximum time to work on your pelvic floor muscle strength and awareness. This will help you out during your third trimester when bubba gets bigger and for post birth recovery.
The stronger your body is, the better your joints and muscles will be able to carry the extra load. Please don’t put it off until you experience pain.