Hays County Physical Therapy and Wellness

Should You Do Postpartum/Postnatal Pilates?

Getting back into an exercise routine can be challenging, especially with the lack of sleep, never-ending to-do list, and working to set up a new routine. Working up to your previous fitness routine takes time and proper progression to avoid injury or set backs. Starting back with high intensity exercises such as running, jumping, or weightlifting without rebuilding your foundation may lead to discomfort or challenges down the road.

As we talked about in a previous post, “So you’ve had a baby now what?”, breath work and reconnecting to those core muscles is a crucial first step in returning to this higher level activities with reduced risk for long term complications.

That’s where Pilates comes in. Pilates is an excellent workout to help you work on breath control and regain strength. Some of the top reasons we love Pilates in the early postpartum phase are listed below.

Allows for Pelvic Floor Muscle Retraining

The pelvic floor muscles lie at the base of your pelvis in sort of a basket. They connect to the tailbone and the rest of the pelvis (hip bones) and support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles are crucial for bowel and bladder health as well as sexual function.

During pregnancy and delivery (vaginal and c-section), these muscle can become stretched and weak due to all the changes that happen during the process of pregnancy. These muscles need some rebuilding and strengthening to function at their optimal level for your activity needs.

Improves and Reduces Abdominal Separation

During pregnancy your abdominal wall stretches and moves to accommodate the growing baby. For most women, the abdominal wall does not just “bounce back” to pre-pregnancy position. It takes time and attention to get these muscles activating again in a safe and effective manner.

Pilates focuses on retraining the deep abdominal muscles and helps you focus on building strength from the inside out. This can help reduce the risk of back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, and a whole host of other issues that come with weakness in the core muscles.

Core and Whole Body Strengthening

Pilates does not just work your core, which includes your abdominals, spine muscles, glutes, and some would say your neck muscles, but it also helps strengthen your arms, legs, and whole body. This total body strengthening is crucial for you to regain your stamina, strength, and overall fitness level. This will also help you in your day to day activities to avoid pain and discomfort or injury risk.

Gives You More Energy

Moving your body helps to stimulate the brain and gives your more energy. By moving your body, you can begin to “wake up” the muscles and joints and improve blood flow so that you feel strong, healthy, powerful, and energized.

If you are recently postpartum or 30 years postpartum, Pilates is a great way to improve strength, improve energy, and rebuild your foundation so that you can do all the exercises and activities you want to do without pain or discomfort and with a decreased risk of injury.

Join us for some Pilates classes to rebuild your core and strengthen your body and mind!