Online PilatesBoth Pilates and yoga are recommended for pregnant women. But which is best suited for you? From an osteopath’s perspective, Pilates has the slight upper hand during pregnancy. This is for 2 main reasons; firstly the body produces elevated levels of the hormone, relaxin, during pregnancy which encourages the pelvic ligaments to relax. This is needed during labour as it allows for easier movement of the baby through the birth canal. However, increased relaxin levels can be troublesome for some especially those that already have very mobile joints. This increased laxity can increase the possibility of painful musculoskeletal issues such as SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) and pelvic girdle pain. Pilates encourages activation of the deep ‘core’ muscles that attach onto the spine and pelvis. Good strength of these muscles will help stabilise the pelvic joints and reduce irritation of the joint surfaces and ligaments. Additionally, prolonged activation of the core muscles will see you in good stead for after the baby is born, helping to protect the back from strain associated with repeated ‘heavy lifting’ of the baby!
There are a large selection of Pilates videos online; however if you already attended a class pre-lockdown, it is worth enquiring whether they are running live sessions, as our Bridge to Health instructors are. This way, you will get a more thorough and tailored session for your needs as well as being able to ask questions about exercise modifications.
Online yogaYoga is another type of exercise that is actively encouraged during pregnancy by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Regular yoga practice has many physical benefits during pregnancy including encouraging good spinal, hip and rib mobility which will allow optimal room for the growing baby and uterus. It will also help keep muscles supple and is one of the few exercises with a focus on upper body strength. All of this while helping to reduce stress and anxiety - which may be needed now more than ever. Again, there are plenty of online yoga videos and our Bridge to Health yoga teacher Vibhu Kundra is offering one to one pregnancy yoga sessions via Zoom
Walking!Ok, this is basic. But the benefits of getting out for a walk are myriad. As long as you aren’t self-isolating with symptoms (or a family member with symptoms), this is still advised for pregnant women. Going for a brisk 15-20 minute walk will raise your heart rate and release endorphins, improving both your physical and mental health. It will also help you burn energy, increasing the likelihood of a decent night’s sleep. Try to get out every day, no matter the weather and even if you can’t really be bothered. You will almost certainly feel better after!
If you have any questions about pregnancy related pain and suitable exercises, contact Sian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07970 133658.