Postnatal Pilates for Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti (or abdominal seperation) is a common postnatal condition that can occur when the two halves of the rectus abdominis muscle (the six-pack muscles) separate and stretch. This is usually due to pregnancy hormones and the increased pressure on the abdominal wall as your baby grows. Symptoms include a ridge or bulge down the middle of your stomach, lower back pain, pelvic floor problems and constipation.
Pilates can help to improve diastasis recti by strengthening your core muscles which in turn pulls those separated muscles back together again.
Postnatal Pilates for Pelvic Floor Problems
Pelvic floor problems are another common postnatal issue that can occur after giving birth. This is often due to the added stress and pressure on the pelvic floor muscles during labour and delivery. Symptoms include urinary leakage (stress incontinence), difficulty emptying your bladder or bowels, pain in your pelvis or vagina and prolapse (when one or more of your pelvic organs drop down from their normal position).
Again, Pilates can be a great way to help with these issues. The exercises focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow to this area. This can improve bladder or bowel control and help to resolve postnatal pelvic organ prolapse.
Postnatal Pilates for Postural Issues
A postpartum woman's body is prone to developing postural issues at this time due the changes that take place during pregnancy (such as breasts getting larger and the hormone relaxin) as well as postnatally with long hours spent feeding and holding bub. Symptoms include neck, upper back and shoulder pain, mid-back tightness or discomfort in your ribs.
Pilates helps rebalance the muscles which takes pressure off of tired joints giving you postnatal relief. You can then strengthen your back and abdominal muscles to help improve postural alignment in the long term, helping you feel stronger and more confident in yourself post-birth.
Generally speaking Pilates is a great way for mums postpartum to rebuild their strength after giving birth while at the same time improving posture, flexibility, coordination and mental well-being. And it's never too late! Although it's always worth starting regular exercise early on especially if you have had any injuries or complications during pregnancy or childbirth that need resolving first, you can recommence exercise at any point postnatally and still reap the benefits.
Not sure if our Postnatal Mums & Bubs (or general Pilates classes) might be right for you? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07 3706 3407. Our Tarragindi based Pilates teachers and Physiotherapists would love to help you on your postpartum recovery journey!