Pregnancy can have a profound and lasting effect on your body, with many women experiencing physical discomfort at differing stages of their pregnancy. Ask any doctor or midwife and they will tell you that the ground rule is to listen to your body and not overdo anything. Thanks to social media, it is a circus out there with many women including celebrities at times sharing images of a fitter abdomen within weeks after delivering the baby. Such examples are often misleading and it is in your best interest to not follow them. Hence women are encouraged to maintain a healthy level of fitness rather than striving for peak fitness. After all, being pregnant for 40 or so weeks is a physical challenge! So, the fitter you are, to begin with, the better – but it is never too late to start. However, it is best to get professional help or seek advice from the doctor at the beginning of your pregnancy to discuss what exercise is suitable for you.
Propel Physiotherapy was founded by physiotherapist Aileen when she experienced herself the lack of postnatal care available to new mothers. While taking care of the baby is pivotal, equally essential is to prioritise your health so that you are stronger, healthier and in a better physical condition to care for your baby. Aileen completed her certification in pilates (clinical exercise) and combined both her knowledge in exercise rehabilitation and hands-on therapy skill set to empower clients to achieve their goals. Propel Physiotherapy strives to provide personalised physiotherapy care for locals in Moonee Ponds, Brunswick, Essendon and other surrounding north-west Melbourne suburbs. In addition to pregnancy physiotherapy, Aileen also provides clinical Pilates exercise classes, injury rehabilitation and musculoskeletal physiotherapy.
Why must one exercise during pregnancy?
Research says that a well-balanced exercise regime helps in
– Managing and preventing gestational diabetes
– Controlling weight-gain
– Improving body postures thereby reducing aches and pains
– Assisting in birth and postnatal recovery
– Building an immune system for the baby
– Regulating effectively the flow of blood and oxygen to baby and mother
– Reducing stress, anxiety and insomnia
– Shortening first and second stage of labour
– Improving endurance, stamina and pain tolerance during labour
Prenatal or pregnancy pilates exercise improves core, lower body and upper body strength during pregnancy. While good core strength can reduce the width of your tummy separation postnatally, strengthening the lower body can prevent groin and pelvic girdle pain.
Postnatal Pilates exercise is a great way of improving overall strength during the early postnatal phase. The focus is on strengthening the core, toning the pelvic floor muscles and improving overall strength. Every mother’s body is different and hence Aileen modifies, individualizes and progresses the exercises to ensure that it is tailored to the strength and weakness of the mother’s body. Being fit will help make your pregnancy much more enjoyable, assist you during labour, and help you cope better with the demands of a young baby.