Medical practitioners have long extolled the virtues of exercise during pregnancy, so it is no surprise that Antenatal Pilates has a growing popularity around the world. Expectant mothers now recognize the benefits that this gentle, low impact form of exercise can offer them during pregnancy and in preparation for labour and birth.
The popularity of Pilates has skyrocketed in the last 10 years, appealing to many as a holistic form of exercise that has been shown to greatly increase flexibility and core strength. The exercises are designed to strengthen your tummy, pelvic floor and back muscles by focusing on low-impact flexibility and strengthening movements. Deep breathing and relaxation are an integral part of Pilates and enable you to feel calmer and stronger both physically and mentally. Antenatal Pilates targets the muscles that will be under the most stress during pregnancy and birth, in a way that is safe and doesn’t place strain on other joints.
So how will Pilates help whilst you are pregnant? It is about specific and intentional exercises, helping you to focus your mind on your body and how it is working. Amongst many benefits, Pilates will strengthen your stomach muscles, helping to develop strong posture and reduce back pain. It will help to strengthen the all important pelvic floor muscles and teach you some very useful relaxation and breathing techniques. The stronger your body is going into pregnancy, the stronger it will be afterwards. The practice of Pilates has also been shown to greatly benefit recovery after birth, helping to re-strengthen muscles weakened during pregnancy.
It is very important that your Pilates practitioner is fully trained and experienced in teaching pregnant women and that you check with your doctor before starting any new classes.
There are some great antenatal Pilates classes in Malta, both group classes and tailored one-to-one sessions.
- Karla Fabri – trained in the UK, Karla has been practicing and teaching Pilates in Malta for over 10 years and is fully trained as a Body Control Pilates instructor in pre and post-natal Pilates. She offers private group and one-to-one home visits for her clients. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 99242976;
- The Bodyworks Pilates Studio based in St. Julians offers classes with instructors fully trained in antenatal and post-natal Pilates. Contact email@example.com or 21384957;
- The Hotel Fortina Spa Resort offers antenatal Pilates, Yoga and Water Workout classes and has a dedicated spa and exercise program for pregnant clients. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 23462149.