Hormonal, anatomical and physiological changes happen on human body during pregnancy which effects musculoskeletal system. During this period, alternating level of hormones causes loosening of the ligaments supporting the joints and may lead to injuries. Increased body weight causes overloading of muscles and joints specially at waist and hip region by alternating balance center of the body. Exercise is very effective on prevention of the pain, instability and fatique caused by these changes. The main question is which exercises will be appropriate on pregnancy?

At this point pilates exercises are one of the best choices. Expectant mother who nominated for exercise by the physician should involve an exercise program under the supervision of a physiotherapist to prevent any undesirable situation. Clinical pilates, prepares mother for labour, decreases negative affections like fear and pain which may happen during the pregnancy or labour and provides a fast recovery after giving birth. Further more these exercises are leading mother to be more comfortable during the labour by combining concentration and breathing exercises. Pelvic floor displaces downwards during the pregnancy because of the gravity and the force that baby’s weight to the uterus. This prolapse of the pelvic floor may cause multiple difficulties such as urinary incontinence which effects health quality of expectant mother. 

Pilates is the perfect exercise system in the cause of protecting challenges such as uterus prolapses and urinary incontinence by strengthening pelvic floor muscles in addition to provides appropriate posture and body awareness. 

Who are eligible for Clinical Pilates in Pregnancy?

Pilates exercises are an ideal exercise protocol for all age groups. Pregnants excluded from any contraindication by physician may start from 16 weeks onwards with at least 2 times in a week by continuing regularly to 35 weeks of pregnancy (regular repeats are the most important principles of pilates). Recovery will be faster with maintaining pilates in the postpartum period.

What are the benefits of Clinical Pilates in Pregnancy?

  • Provides fast recovery after giving birth.
  • Increases mothers performance by using breathing exercises which will help to decrease possible pain, fear and anxiety during birth.
  • Regulates circulatory and digestive system.
  • Preserves mother’s physical capacity, helps increasing strength and endurance during pregnancy.
  • Stretching exercises decrease pain and spasms.
  • Strengths breast muscles which have weakened by reasons such as hormones, shorten chest and back muscles and larger breast.
  • Protects urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy.
  • Helps to control mother’s weight
  • Facilitates the recovery of uterus easily in postpartum period.
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Facilitates returning to normal sexuality after labour.
  • Pilates exercises helps mother to fall asleep easily, and feel fresh and motivated during the day.

Contraindications for Pilates during Pregnancy

  • Pregnants with premature birth risk,
  • Pregnants with vaginal bleeding,
  • Pregnants who has health issues like hypertension are suggested to consult their physician.
  • Pregnants with weakness, disunion risk of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti).

Exercise for expectant mothers who had varied problems at their previous pregnancies should either be limited or precisely adjusted to them. Mothers who had any systemic disease (such as cardiac or pulmonary diseases) before pregnancy should take consent from their physician before application of the exercises.

Exercises are an important part of healthy life and may practiced during pregnancy unless certain principles are followed. The exercises in this period are very helpful both for the mother and the baby.