Pregnancy Pilates, Pre & Post-Natal Pain
During and after your pregnancy you can have some issues which cause pain and reduce functioning. Pregnancy Pilates can help address these issues. PhysioCare offers Pilates that is led by Chartered Physiotherapists. This can take the form of either a group class in our gym setting (for those up to 20 weeks pregnant), or one-to-one with your Physiotherapist in a private treatment room (for those at any stage of their pregnancy).
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
This is the name given to instability of the pelvis during and after pregnancy. It can reduce mobility and cause pain. The pain associated with SPD can be from the front or back of the pelvis. The pelvis is a bony ring held together in the back with the Sacro iliac joints and in the front by the pubis symphysis joint. During pregnancy these joints are under excess strain which can lead to instability, pain and mobility issues in some women. Pain can also be present in the groin and legs. Activities of daily living are affected such as getting out of the car, carrying loads and walking. Usually in pregnancy there is no structural alteration just a change in the movement of these otherwise stable joints. Your physiotherapist will be able to assess your pelvic pain, advise any treatments necessary and then give you specific Pilates exercises to help stabilise and support the pelvis. This could result in reduced pain and increased function and will prevent worsening of the condition.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Maintaining strong and correct functioning pelvic floor muscles is crucial during your pregnancy. Being able to contract and relax these muscles can reduce damage during labour. Toning up the muscles after birth can help prevent leakage and safeguard against incontinence and prolapses. The pelvic floor muscles are the sling at the bottom of your abdomen. Layers of connective tissue and muscle run from front to back and side to side. They help control closure of passages (urethra, vagina and anus). Healthy muscle tone is required in order for the muscle to function correctly. Pre or post-natal healthy muscle toning is required and your PhysioCare Chartered Physiotherapist will guide you on how to activate and relax these muscles. You will be guided on what exercises to perform. From here you will be given a specific Pilates program (either tailored to you during a group class, or given during a private one-to-one Pilates session) with focus on the pelvic floor muscles.
This is the term given to a separation of the midline rectus abdominis muscle during pregnancy. It is normal to get this separation towards the end of your pregnancy. You may notice the space between your abdominal muscles when you do a contraction such as sitting up or coughing. After delivery, closure of the diastasis rectus normally occurs with 12 weeks with some specific progressive abdominal exercises. If you have a diastasis of more than two fingers wide you will benefit from a Physiotherapist led Pregnancy Pilates program which focuses on control and regaining tone in this muscle. This Pilates program will include specific exercises that will help close the gap. They will include gentle loading of the transverse abdominal muscle making sure you have a correct contraction so as not to make the issue worse.
Pilates through each trimester of pregnancy
During each trimester there are different restrictions and focuses of your Pilates program. If you have never done Pilates previously it is recommended you wait until 12 weeks to start your program. From here you can practice Pilates right up until birth (up to 20 weeks in our group classes and then one-to-one with your Chartered Physiotherapist after 20 weeks). You can start post-natal Pilates immediately with gentle pelvic floor exercises building as you feel able. As each person is different, so too will the exercise program you will be prescribed depending on your issues and experience. Pre and post-natal Pregnancy Pilates can help to control/alleviate pain. It can also help to maintain a healthy pelvic floor and abdominal musculature. Our clinical pre and post-natal Physiotherapist Pregnancy Pilates will provide you with an individual specific supervised program which you will carry out with your Physiotherapist either during class or in a one-to-one session and continue at home.