How Prenatal Pilates Helps With Labor

Most moms-to-be spend their pregnancies eagerly awaiting the day their baby is born. They look forward to finally meeting a new child, and are excited to soak up those amazing snuggles. But there's just one major thing standing in the way — getting through labor and delivery. Some women find the ordeal is easier than they expected. Others, like myself, find it much harder than they ever could have imagined. If you're looking for ways to make the process a little more manageable, you might be wondering how doing pilates when pregnant can help with labor. And you'll be happy to know that there are a few enticing benefits.

The biggest benefit to doing prenatal pilates might just be one pilates instructor Jo D'Agostino discussed in a previous Romper article: you learn how to push. Knowing which muscles to use to push most effectively can have a huge impact on your labor. You'll be less tired and your efforts will be more efficient, and that in turn can shorten your labor. As someone who pushed unsuccessfully for about two and half hours with my daughter only to end up having a C-section, I can't help but wondering whether things would have been different if I had spent my 37 weeks of pregnancy practicing pilates.

Doing pilates isn't really a high-impact workout and, according to Baby Center, deep breathing and relaxation are both major components of it. If you've ever taken a Lamaze class, you'll recognize that breathing and relaxation can also be major components of a successful labor. They can make it easier to deal with contractions, according to Fit Pregnancy. Prenatal pilates can also boost your energy and stamina levels, according to Fuse Pilates. You'll obviously need strong reserves of both to make it through childbirth.

Many women will find that recovering from labor is nearly as hard as labor itself. Doing pilates when you're pregnant can help there, too. According to Marie Claire, prenatal pilates can keep your abdominal muscles toned even as they stretch with your growing belly, and that can keep them in better shape once you've given birth.