We made it! Full term is considered 37 weeks, and here I am! I have mixed feelings about being done with this pregnancy: I am ready to feel like myself again, but nostalgic about this likely being my last pregnancy…I can’t wait to meet our baby girl, but would also like to get her birthday a little farther from the holidays!
To be perfectly honest, it has also been a challenging few weeks. We have been battling one sickness after another in our house which has made everything more difficult, including exercise! My weekly Pilates lessons have dropped off and I can feel that in my body. But, I have still been able to do some stretching and movement at the studio and when I can do it, that has felt amazing!
So here it is, Pilates is possible even when VERY pregnant!
Hip strengthening and opening are both a priority as I prep for the labor and delivery process. The hip muscles also take quite a beating as the pelvic ligaments stretch and feel more lax. The hip muscles have to do more work to hold everything together! Therefore, several of my exercises this week revolve around the hips…
- hip opening: Ballet Stretches on the Trapeze Bar and Open the Hip
- hip and leg strengthening: Low Chair Footwork and Leg Series on the Low Chair and Side Leg Springs
As the abdomen gets more and more compressed (baby is now taking up A LOT of space in there!), it becomes even more challenging to get spinal movement. Kneeling Mermaid on the Low Chair is a wonderful assisted side bend stretch that allows opening of the sides while also working the hips, core and upper body.
The Spine Corrector supports the spine in extension- a position that is tricky to find at this stage of pregnancy! It is a great place to just breathe, opening the chest and creating more space for the lungs and other organs. It is also a great place to add some light hand weights for arm circles and other arm motions.
Finally, the Magic Circle Arm Work is a series that can be done throughout pregnancy to help tone the upper body in a standing position. I had a helper for this one….enjoy some toddler cuteness!
Please feel free to contact me with questions about how to continue your Pilates practice throughout your pregnancy. Healthy movement IS possible and can help ease some of the discomforts of a rapidly changing body!