Let me answer the most pressing questions first: Yes, Pilates can help with back pain, sciatica, and diastasis recti. In fact, it’s a great solution for overall wellbeing while pregnant. Learning to move through the Pilates exercises is equally challenging and supportive as your body changes and prepares for childbirth.
One of the most important things I teach my expecting Mom’s is how to gain support for their changing body by connecting to their transverse abdominals. Knowing how to find, feel and cue abdominal engagement intrinsically helps soothe lower back pain with the added benefit of helping to prepare for delivery. The transverse abdominals start in your back connecting from the inside surface of the seven lowest ribs, all your lumbar vertebrae, and wraps horizontally around to the front body. When the transverse abdominals are engage and connect with all the core muscles they create a natural weave of muscle layers to help support your back, improve stability and assist with pushing the baby out when the time comes. To experience the engagement of the transverse abdominals in a safe, spacious room, walk backwards and then run a little backwards; the transverse abdominals should instinctually turn on to slow you down and protect you from moving too quickly. This instinct kicks in to protect you from falling or banging into something because you can’t see where you are going.
Play with finding your transverse abdominals and share your experience in the comment section. In my movement training we improve by learning from our shared experiences,, which includes being present and attuned to Mom’s wellbeing as well her growing baby’s.
Nowadays, there are so many kids out in the world that unconsciously smile when they hear my voice because I was their Mom’s Pilates Instructor during her pregnancy. Pre and Postnatal Pilates is a wonderful experience, and I look forward to bringing my experience to help support many more healthy pregnancies.
Check back soon for more Pilates Pregnancy blogs addressing, connecting one’s Pelvic Floor, movement tools for managing Sciatica, and the realities of diastasis recti.