contraindications for postnatal Pilates

Exercise has numerous health benefits including assistance with weight loss, increased cardiovascular fitness and psychological wellbeing. It is important to keep in mind however that your body has changed significantly since you were pregnant and it can take time for these changes to be reflected in your physical ability. If you are unsure of how to safely return to your pre-pregnancy exercise routine it is recommended that you consult with a postnatal Pilates instructor who has undergone the necessary training and education.

Physiotherapists and clinical instructors who specialise in pregnancy and postnatal Pilates East Sheen are qualified to assess, guide and instruct new mums through safe exercises that strengthen deep muscles, improve core strength and stability and encourage pelvic floor activation. They can also help retrain your breathing techniques to better support your body through its recovery after childbirth and aid the reconnection of your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

In a recent study, it was found that women who participated in two one-hour Pilates sessions per week over four weeks experienced fewer instances of perineal trauma than those who received their usual antenatal classes. This is a significant finding and shows that Pilates may be able to decrease the risk of laceration during birth as well as the rate of C-sections. It is important to note that the sample size of this particular study was small and therefore further research with larger samples should be conducted to verify these findings.

Are there any contraindications for postnatal Pilates?

Women are generally able to commence gentle postnatal exercises within days of giving birth and as soon as they feel ready. It is best to listen to your body and avoid exercising if you are experiencing fatigue, discomfort or pain as this can be a sign of excessive exertion and a sign that you should slow down.

The benefits of exercise during and after pregnancy are vast, but it is important to remember that you should not push your body too hard, particularly in the first few months after giving birth. You will experience fatigue, and this can be compounded by sleep deprivation, the demands of a newborn baby and the responsibilities associated with being a new mother.

It is recommended that you gradually increase your level of activity to a maximum of two to three hours of exercise each week, until you reach your pre-pregnancy exercise levels. This is important as too much exercise can place strain on the recovering pelvic floor, abdominal and back muscles. Exercises that should be avoided include any that create extra intra-abdominal pressure such as planks, sit ups, curl ups and mountain climbers. Our postnatal physiotherapists and clinical instructors can assist with these exercises by biasing the movements to reduce this pressure so that you can return to Pilates as soon as you are ready.