Whether through natural delivery or a C-section, a woman’s body goes through many changes during childbirth. From an increase in hormones to a change in the body’s center of gravity, and even an increased amount of pain throughout the body — the most common areas including the spine, pelvis, hips, and knee joints — there are many side effects from giving birth.
Once the baby arrives, women still have to navigate many post-pregnancy challenges. Abdominal weakness, back pain, pelvic pain, pelvic dysfunction, and muscle stiffness are among the most common (and most painful physical) effects following delivery.
MAG Physical Therapy, Pilates, and Wellness is here to help. Our very own Doctor of Physical Therapy, Dr. Melissa Maglaque, is a mom herself. She has over 14 years of practice, and deeply understands the physical pain and needs new moms experience after pregnancy.
One of the best ways to help new moms support their changing bodies is through postpartum Pilates. Here, we’re going to talk about why postpartum Pilates can help, and what new moms need to know!
Why postpartum care is important
Before we talk about Pilates, though, let’s talk about postpartum care in general. Recovery doesn’t just last a few days. Any form of childbirth brings dramatic changes to the body, even if it was considered an “easy birth.” Your body has experienced trauma and will need time to recover.
This process can take several months to complete. While most women feel recovered (for the most part) after 8-12 weeks, it isn’t at all abnormal for your body to take longer to recover. We all have different needs and it’s important to remember this as you navigate the physical changes following childbirth. That’s why we love Pilates for postpartum recovery.
Why we use Pilates in postpartum care
Your body is sensitive after giving birth, and doing too much high-impact exercise too soon can bring on further damage. We understand that new moms may be eager to get back into their health and wellness routine, but we encourage women to do this in a safe and manageable way.
That’s why we love postpartum Pilates!
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that does wonders for restoring strength and balance as well as improving joint stability and joint mobility where needed in YOUR unique body. The main goal is to gradually and safely challenge the abdominal muscles, aka our “core,” an area of the body heavily impacted by childbirth.
Postpartum Pilates can not only benefit new moms in these ways but can also help increase blood flow and oxygenation to damaged muscles, speeding up the recovery process.
Other benefits to postpartum Pilates:
- Improved core strength
- Reduction of abdominal separation or diastasis recti
- Improved posture
- Improved strength in arms and trunk
- Joint stabilization and re-strengthening
- Pelvic floor recovery
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Space to take care of yourself!
Becoming a mom brings many changes to your body. Pilates can help with a number of them — and provide you with some much-needed time to just take care of yourself and take a break.
Holistic care for postpartum health
Our physical therapy studio [link to studio blog] in Westfield, NJ aims to help new moms feel better through various physical therapy techniques, each tailored to fit individual needs, including Pilates. We want to help you reduce daily pain and improve muscle function and joints as you recover.
If you are looking to strengthen your core after birth, reduce tightness and pain in your back and joints, or simply want to keep up with your pre-pregnancy lifestyle and activities, our practice will work with you one-on-one to create a customized treatment plan that includes Pilates.
New moms can rest assured knowing that their path to recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach or formulated by someone who doesn’t understand exactly what their bodies and minds are experiencing. Having a physical therapist who is also a mom means you’re getting care from someone who has been in your shoes and knows the pain you’re feeling.
We take a holistic approach and look at your body as a whole by focusing on:
- Supporting your body as it heals
- Reducing back, pelvic, and joint pain
- Restoring core and muscle strength
- Improving functional movement
- Increasing energy & stamina
- Safe return to previous activity levels
- Pilates to help relieve pain and build muscle strength
Whatever you need, our practice can help you find exercises that improve your stamina and strength and get you back to feeling great following delivery.
How to register for a postpartum Pilates session
Registering for a one-on-one Pilates session is easy! Even if you are unsure exactly what you need, our PT can help you narrow down exactly how you’re feeling and create a custom plan just for you.
During your first session, we’ll evaluate your current physical needs and create a path forward that feels safe, manageable, and effective for you.
Just schedule a consultation and we will get in touch with you soon. Please feel free to include any questions you have about postpartum physical therapy and Pilates — we’re happy to help!