By Elle Wisdom
I recently gave birth to my second son Jack and I couldn’t believe how much easier it was the second time around. I felt so much stronger this pregnancy compared to my first 3 years ago, and I had so much more energy at work, well into my 3rd trimester. This is my personal experience of how I think Pregnancy Pilates (Clinical Pilates) contributed to that.
Before my first pregnancy I was relatively active – I played netball, did a lot of walking and loved going to the beach for a body surf. During my first pregnancy I thought I did okay. I walked to and from work everyday, went to the gym a couple of times per week (for the first few months), I completed an 8-week pregnancy yoga class in my 3rd trimester and went for a swim in the pool most days which was great for my mental health; plus it was lovely floating in the water. These low-impact exercises however didn’t help me as I got to the 6-month mark and post-delivery. My body really lacked the strength in my bum & legs that I needed for those last few months. Post birth I really struggled when I wanted to get active again and my posture went from bad to worse with feeding my newborn, even including numbness and tingling in my arms!
Second time around I was determined to take some positive steps for an improved pregnancy experience.
Second time around I was determined to take some positive steps for an improved pregnancy experience. Luckily I had the opportunity to do regular Pregnancy Clinical Pilates classes. I started regular classes about 4 months prior to getting pregnant, and then continued throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t do much else really – occasional long walks, a few Aqua Aerobics sessions but Clinical Pilates was the core exercise that I did on average twice per week, although some early weeks I felt too sick to do any, and during the second trimester I often felt good enough to do three sessions!
From my experience, I believe Clinical Pilates prior to, and throughout my pregnancy helped me to experience less pelvic, hip and lower back pain as well as increasing my upper body strength (handy when lifting a 15kg toddler), energy levels, less weight-gain, better pelvic floor and an improved posture. I felt it was easy to commit to Clinical Pilates as I felt energised and stronger after each session – as opposed to other types of exercise where I would often feel tired and sore. I also had a much better labour and delivery.
One month post-delivery, my son is thriving and my body is telling me it’s time to gradually get active again. I have already done a few Physiotherapy and postnatal Clinical Pilates sessions just focusing on pelvic floor and upper body posture and it has felt so good to start moving again. As long as I feel good, I will continue to do a couple of short sessions per week and gradually build up my strength resuming to full one-hour classes.