Pregnancy and childbirth can put a woman's body through the ringer. Unfortunately, it doesn't end once the baby is born. The postpartum recovery period is not exactly a walk in the park, and some new moms find themselves dealing with ongoing problems like back pain, diastasis recti, and, of course, the struggle to get back in "shape." If you're looking for ways to make these issues easier, you'll want to know how doing pilates when pregnant can help with postpartum recovery.
I hate to scare anyone who's currently got a bun in the oven, but I've dealt with lots of back pain since giving birth to my daughter more than a year ago. I'd assumed that my epidural and C-section were probably to blame. But, in an interview with Romper, Jo D'Agostino, the director of Pre- and Postnatal Programming at Core Pilates NYC, explained that your abdominal muscles support your spine, and you lose some of that support as your abs stretch out thanks to your growing baby bump. This can lead to lower back pain. Doing pilates when you're pregnant can keep those muscles as toned as possible, which in turn means your giving your spine as much support as possible. That can help you avoid back pain while you're pregnant, as well as when you're recovering.
Another issue that some moms deal with in the postpartum period is diastasis recti. According to Parents, that's when your abdominals stretch and separate so much that they don't come back together. It can make your stomach bulge and look rounded, often making women feel self-conscious that they still appear pregnant. SELF noted that taking a prenatal pilates class can help you learn exercises and moves that will keep your abs toned without risking any damage to them. Some women may not realize that you're still at risk for developing diastasis recti even after giving birth, so postnatal pilates classes can be helpful as well.
If you're not sure whether you have the time or money for a prenatal pilates class, don't worry. According to Fit Pregnancy, there are plenty of pilates moves you can do at home during every stage of your pregnancy that will help you avoid pain in the long run.