Pregnancy is associated with a number of musculoskeletal
problems. It is important to educate all mothers, as well
as those involved in ante- and postnatal care with advice
on bras and exercises that are safe in pregnancy (in
particular pelvic floor exercises). There is not much that
can be done to alter the inevitable physiological and
hormonal changes of pregnancy. However, by
strengthening the core stabilising muscles around the
pelvis and spine, and improving the breathing pattern, it is
hoped that one can optimise the body for the challenges it
may face. Pilates is based on the principle that a central
core is developed and then movements are introduced to
challenge this core stability. This philosophy is clearly
applicable in pregnancy–a significant test both mentally
and physically on the mother’s body. By maximising the
mother’s core stability before and during pregnancy, it
should be possible to limit any potential harm. Returning
to exercise soon after the birth is important for the
mother’s physical and mental wellbeing–she looks after
her baby’s body for nine months, who cares for hers?

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