5 Ways Pilates will Transform your Post Baby Body
There comes a stage in every new mom’s life when your mind slowly starts to shift back to yourself. For months on end, you’ve grown, nursed and cared for this new life, and you’re probably feeling that it’s time to start getting your body back.
As well as the physical implications of being a little out of shape from a lack of exercise, a hurried diet of comfort food and the toll that childbearing and childbirth has on your body, the mental implications are huge too. Some new moms struggle with self-esteem issues and one of the ways you can help to improve that is to start looking after your body.
Here are just some of the other reasons that pilates is the perfect body transforming exercise post-baby...
1. Gently does it
Firstly, it’s gentle on the body and the mind. You might have put on some extra weight throughout your pregnancy, and be impatient to start to lose it. But in the early stages of motherhood, what you really don’t need is a gym instructor shouting at you to move faster, or jump higher, when you’re feeling a little delicate from lack of sleep and a harried mind. A soothing atmosphere with gentle but effective movements are best to ease you back into the real world, and ease your body back into shape.
2. Core Strength
According to Women's Health Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor at EBTC (Evidence Based Therapy Centre) Catherine Browne, pilates is possibly the best form of exercise for the following reasons. “Firstly, Pilates incorporates pelvic floor exercises, which are beneficial for your body after giving birth and can help limit leaking and continence issues. Pilates also strengthens the gluteal (buttock) muscles which in turn promotes low back and pelvic stability. Pilates also helps to recondition the strength and function of the deep abdominal muscles. Additional benefits include improved posture and core stability which help to recover your pre-baby shape. Pilates is ideal post-pregnancy as it also offers an exercise option to those with diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles), pelvic girdle pain and continence issues.”
So what effects will women feel or see in their body after doing pilates for some time? “After a prolonged period, Pilates will promote strength, mobility, flexibility, good posture and overall cardiovascular fitness. Women should expect to see improved function of their pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles,” answers Catherine, adding that group pilates classes are also a great meeting place for mums, where they can chat and offer support in a welcoming and relaxed environment.
4. Stress Relief
Pilates is also great as a stress-reliever, it gives you a breather and some much needed time for yourself. You’ll start to carry yourself with more confidence, have a firmer bum and legs, and start to see that tummy shrinking back to somewhere near where it used to be.
So while you might want to hear that within, say, two months, you’re going to be back to your pre-pregnancy body, just as each pregnancy is different, so will the time it takes to get back into shape. “With pregnancy there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Catherine. “All our bodies are different and some may feel the benefits sooner than others. Individual strengths and weaknesses, areas of tightness and any previous injuries or pain need to be considered. As a general guide, Pilates classes are usually offered in 6-8 week blocks and by the end of this block everyone should be feeling some benefits.”
Pilates on its own won’t budge the extra pounds, but the simple act of starting to look after your body will have a positive knock-on effect, and may help you start to eat a little more healthily.
Need any other reasons to take a pilates class now?