If you’re reading this you are probably in your 3rd Trimester or close to it. Your body keeps changing and growing from one second to the next, you are wondering “can I get any bigger? Will my body get back to normal? What is childbirth going to be like?” Honestly and truly speaking, now more than ever, fear and excitement are a cocktail among the rest of the emotions, but rest assured, it is ALL NORMAL!
Now that you’re growing bigger and bigger, your posture is taking a bigger shift to adapt to the growing uterus and fetus. Typically, the pelvis tilts anteriorly (causing an ‘arched back’), this leads to tighter hip flexors and weak hamstrings and glutes. At this point you are probably starting to feel exhausted much quicker, you don’t feel like you are managing as much as you did in your second trimester. This is your body telling you to take it slower and rest more, don’t push yourself, you have earned the right to take it easy, this also includes reducing exercise intensity and duration as well.
Nonetheless, if you manage to incorporate a few light workouts during the week, it would be of great benefit to you and also the baby. This includes light walks, swimming and adapted classes such as Pilates.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PILATES DURING THE THIRD TRIMESTER?
As discussed in previous blogs,there are many benefits of exercise in pregnancy, this includes the 3rd trimester and also postnatal phase. Apart from boosting your emotional well-being, Pilates works to alleviate and/or prevent joint pain by improving strength and stability within the core. It can also help ease symptoms of the pregnancy-related joint pains such as pelvic girdle pain or pelvic girdle dysfunction and symphysis pubis pain (also known as symphysis pubis dysfunction) . The mind-body connection brought about through Pilates is also beneficial as a preparation for childbirth.
Through Pilates one can learn how to activate and relax the pelvic floor muscles, stamina is improved through strengthening exercises and the pelvis becomes more flexible with the stretching and lengthening exercises. All these factors mentioned are great tools for a possible more positive birthing experience.
Last but not least, it has been proven in several studies that Pilates (and exercise in general) during pregnancy is one of the best ways to recover and get back to pre-pregnancy weight following childbirth. Additionally, it reduces the chances of postpartum complications such as incontinence.
IS PILATES SAFE DURING THE THIRD TRIMESTER?
Although prenatal Pilates is an excellent and safe exercise during pregnancy, it is ideal to adapt these workouts during the last trimester. During these last 3 months it is best to focus on breathing and exercises that prepare the body for childbirth. The key is finding a balance between relaxation and working out. It is important to take it easier, that you are still in control of your breathing and that you can still carry out a conversation while doing the exercises. Let go of any expectations or judgement of yourself. If you’re doing home workouts you can split a class in 3 parts if it feels tough. Give yourself a break, You’ve got this, mama! You are SUPER!
Here is a free video sample of our 3rd Trimester Pilates: https://youtu.be/eku5h_b6l_U
We offer a package of 5 online classes, ADAPTED FOR THE THIRD TRIMESTER (duration of 30 to 45 minutes). These are guided by a fully qualified physiotherapist and APPI trained in prenatal/postnatal Pilates.