The Importance of Looking after Women’s Health when Pregnant

Exercise during pregnancy and postnatal is important. However, women often feel nervous and unsure when and what type of exercise is safe. NHS guidelines recommend you stay active and keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, walking, running, pilates/ yoga) for as long as you feel comfortable.

The more active you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after birth.

Research has also found moderate exercise can reduce risks of pre-term labour and can even shorten labour. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is even some evidence to suggest active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour. However, suppose you were not active before pregnancy. In that case, you need to take more care when introducing exercise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start.

What is Women’s Health?

As a qualified Pilates Instructor with the Appi, I offer several classes and 1 to 1 sessions specifically for women’s health.

As women, we believe it is normal to have those “oops moments”. Well, it’s not!

I trained with Dr Bruce Crawford, an American, Board Certified Urogynecologist. He developed the ‘Pfilates’ method through rigorous scientific testing and showed that pelvic floor issues are a fitness problem, not a medical problem.

The Pfilates Pelvic Floor Performance Training program is a synthesis of Pilates, plyometrics, and traditional “Kegels.” These methods have been scientifically tested to determine which exercises are most likely to give you the best success at strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.

The PFilates system is a proven method for developing pelvic floor strength. Clinical data collected over ten years showed that after four weeks of doing Pfilates exercises, patients had a 33% improvement in pelvic floor strength and a 74% overall improvement in bladder symptoms. Yes, that’s right, those are the average results after just FOUR WEEKS of participation!

Dr Crawford found ten exercises that have been proven to improve pelvic floor strength. I help you find two exercises from these 10 to perform 5 minutes twice a day – what an improvement on the traditional kegel holds that we’re used to!

With the support of a group environment and access to a dedicated private Facebook group, we need not be embarrassed to discuss leakage or having to rush to the loo.

Benefits of Women’s Health

33% Improvement In Pelvic Floor Strength After 4 Weeks
Pilates incorporates pelvic floor work into its workouts to help you counter increased weight during pregnancy and learn to relax for labour and strengthen after birth.

Improve Bladder Control And Bowel Control
Focusing on deep core/abdominal strength. Working on the deep stabilising muscles to relieve the pressure on your back as well as bladder and bowel control.

Support You In Labour And Reduce Surgery
Breathing. Beautiful, deep breathing helps maintain the deep abdominal connections and supports the rest of your body. In addition, breathing deeply will help during labour.

Strength Building & Supporting Your Journey
Upper back and arm strength are needed as your bump grows and after the baby is born, as they will need constant feeding.

Reducing Back Pain & Improving Posture
Maintaining posture and limiting imbalances. Working on the whole body to maintain strength and stability.

Conclusion

Whatever stage you’re at in your pregnancy, it’s not too late to start introducing movements that will benefit your body and baby in the short and longer-term.

However, everyone is different, so it’s important to find what works for you and your fitness level. Having a trusted support network and fully qualified trainer can be invaluable in helping you to implement an appropriate routine (and keep it consistent!)

If you’d like to find out more about joining one of our Pilates (or Pfliates) classes or 1 to 1 sessions specifically focused on pre and postnatal health, get in touch.

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Caroline Arnold

Remedial Massage, Manipulative Therapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Dip Sports Therapy, Advanced Sports Kinesio Practioner, Orthopaedic Dry Needling, TMJ Therapist, Pregnancy and Baby Massage, Oncology Massage, Women's Health Pfilates, Electrotherapy, Functional Gait Analysis and Running Re-Education, Nordic walking Instructor, Fascial Fitness Teacher, YMCA level 2 gym Instructor, APPI Pilates Instructor, Level 3 Orienteering Coach

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