Pilates During Pregnancy Helps Babies Brain Develop

November 25, 2013
Third Trimester Prenatal Pilates

Third Trimester Prenatal Pilates

With a decade of certification in Pregnancy Fitness/Postpartum Rehabilitation and many wonderful trainer-client relationships in the field, my passion for promoting fitness and health throughout pregnancy has never ceased to grow. I have seen the powerful benefits that exercise brings to mothers and the babies they carry, and how every part of that training helps prepare them for birth, recovery, and healthy motherhood. Getting ready to have a baby is like training for a marathon, and smart fitness training will do a lot to help!

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are plentiful, proven in studies, and well documented. I have personally seen positive results from prenatal and postpartum Pilates like increased stability as the center of gravity is thrown off, better breath control and deeper breathing that helps in labor, and strengthening of the upper body and increased awareness of healthy upper body alignment to avoid common injuries in new mothers.

Postpartum Prenatal Pilates

Postpartum Prenatal Pilates

I recently came across an article that showed me how much further the benefits of prenatal and postpartum exercise goes. In a recent study at the University of Montreal, researchers randomly assigned women in their first trimester to participate either by exercising moderately for at least 20 minutes three times a week, or to be part of a predominantly sedentary control group. After the babies were born, they tested for any differences between the two groups in the newborns’ brain patterns. They found that the babies whose mothers exercised regularly had more mature brains than the babies from the control group.

You can read an article from the LA Times about the study here or read the study abstract here.

Studies like this reaffirm and give greater meaning to the work we do at Blue Sparrow Pilates. We are creatures that are anatomically designed for useful, joyous, diverse movement, and that movement is integrated into every other part of living healthy and happy lives.

The release of this study is coincidentally timely for me. Blue Sparrow Pilates and Gain Fitness have teamed up on a project to help many expecting mothers who don’t have access to my studio. I’m so excited to announce the launch of an App for prenatal and postpartum Pilates!

Our new App “Prenatal Pilates” is available now through the App Store.

Holly Furgason Fit for Real & Blue Sparrow Pilates

  • Avatar
    Alexandra Marcus
    March 19, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I found this article really interesting. I’m currently taking a course in Developmental Psychology where we talk quite a bit about brain maturation, so it immediately sparked my interest. I’m curious of any significant changes in the active mother’s brains and if it directly correlates to the advance brain maturation for infants. As someone looking to go into Somatic Psychology and/or Dance/Movement Therapy, I am happy to see studies like this conducted. The low-impact nature of Pilates seems like an ideal form of prenatal exercise, as a majority of the movements are simultaneously controlled and challenging (at least for a Level I Mat Class).

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