During pregnancy your body produces a hormone called relaxin which is produced in larger amounts during pregnancy to prepare your body for child birth. Relaxin levels rise during your first trimester of pregnancy to assist with implantation and placenta growth. At the end of pregnancy relaxin helps the ligaments of the pelvis to relax and allow the pelvis to stretch during child birth. This increased flexibility of pelvic ligaments combined with the extra weight of the baby can lead to pelvic girdle pain or pubic symphasis pain. With pelvic girdle pain you may have pain or stiffness in the back or front of your pelvis, between your legs around your pelvic floor or across your lower back. You may feel pain on one or both sides and it is often worse with activities like standing on one leg to get dressed, getting in/out of the car, walking, going up/down stairs or turning in bed.
Pelvic pain will usually improve after the birth of your baby but it can be quite painful and make it difficult to get around, especially during late pregnancy. You may find it helpful to avoid aggravating activities by making small changes like sitting down to get dressed in the morning and putting both feet on the ground before getting out of the car. Resting when you can during the day often helps too. If symptoms don't settle down, physiotherapy can help by checking the alignment of the joints in your pelvis and giving you exercises to help stabilise your pelvis. Some people really benefit from wearing a brace or by wearing pregnancy leggings - if you think these may help you, your physiotherapist can measure your pelvis and order a brace to suit you.
Research has shown that regular exercise during pregnancy has many benefits and one of the best forms of exercise for pregnant women is Pilates. Your pregnancy pilates journey at Auckland Physiotherapy starts with a 45 minute assessment with a trained Women's Health Physiotherapist. This session will consist of an assessment of your posture, range of movement, strength and pelvic alignment/stability. You will then get a tailored exercise program emailed to you along with time learning the basic exercises on the machines. If you and your Physio feel you're ready, you can join the Pregnancy Pilates class which consists of 4-5 people and is taken by a Pilates Instructor who has been trained in Pregnancy care. During this class you complete exercises that are safe and specific to your needs.
Pregnancy Pilates is an excellent way of ensuring optimal function of your pelvic floor, as well as targeting the muscles around your lower back and pelvis to help you carry the extra weight during pregnancy and ease back and pelvis pain. It is low impact exercise that is more comfortable on your joints, which can become more susceptible to injury during pregnancy.
Providing all is going well, you can do Pregnancy Pilates from day one right through till the big day with a programme that is modified as you progress. This regular exercise will enable you to control excess weight gain, feel more comfortable as your body changes and means a faster recovery following the birth of your child.
Pregnancy Pilates prepares your body for not only the big event of giving birth but the extremely physical job of having a newborn baby!
No matter when you join us, the Physio’s at Auckland Physiotherapy will ensure your Pregnancy Pilates program is tailored to the changes your body is going through each trimester.
Our Health Collective is here to support your pregnancy and post-natal journey too!
We have specialised pilates classes for pregnancy, post-natal, and even a Mums & Bubs class where your newborn is welcome (and encouraged) to come along too! You can feel confident that the movement and activity you're doing during these classes are safe as your instructor is well experienced and works closely with your physio to monitor your progress and give exercises specific to your circumstances.
In The Collective Store, you will also find a broad range of products to support your journey. We stock breastfeeding pillows, products for stress relief and relaxation, and we stock New Zealand's largest range of SRC Health Pregnancy and Recovery garments. These compression shorts and leggings are designed to give targeted support during and after pregnancy. We offer FREE postage of these garments NZ wide!