Pregnancy Hormones: Relaxin for today’s topic can greatly affect your body both during pregnancy and for those first weeks postpartum too!

Relaxin is a pregnancy hormone that allows your ligaments to become lax, specifically your pelvis, so they can open up and your baby can birth out of your birth canal. However, it doesn’t only affect ligaments around your pelvis and hips.

It affects the ligaments throughout your entire body, so you have to be cautious when it comes to stretching when you’re pregnant.

  • Avoid exercises that also require you to change direction quickly.
  • Active stretching that connects your muscles if far more effective {and safe!} then just holding a stretch.
  • While yoga can be very beneficial during pregnancy, we need to be cautious about going too deep into a pose.
  • Foam rolling is a great way to achieve balance, connectivity and healthy stretching {access to many foam rolling release videos in my Prenatal + Postnatal Membership}
  • Give yourself time to heal after delivery, mama. Your body has been through so much, now is not the time to risk injury. Relaxin stays in your body for 10-12 weeks+ after delivery.
  • Core strength is central to all of my pregnancy and postpartum exercises. You will feel stronger, more fluid in your movements and more flexible when you have an activated core.

My top tip to help avoid over-stretching:

Work through a range of motion that feels good for your body!

With flexibility, there is always the potential that you will push your limits. Everyone has that threshold, right? When you’re pregnant, I recommend staying away from that, “Oh, that feels really tight” feeling.

It’s important to never force a stretch. This goes for whether you’re pregnant or not, it doesn’t matter! I’m a big believer in active stretching so you can really feel your muscles connect.

Again, this can apply to any form of working out, but if you follow any of my workouts, you’ll notice I talk a lot about connections and lengthening while moving very fluidly through your body.

The more connection you can have, the more support you have around your joints and your ligaments, instead of stressing them.

Relaxin can stay in your body for a good 10 weeks postpartum and most women don’t realize that. I made that mistake after my first was born. I knew about relaxin, but I didn’t know the depths of it. If you’re a Pilates guru like me, don’t get back on that reformer and do legs in the straps until everything is completely healed and you are well into 12+ weeks postpartum. Avoid any sort of exercises that resemble a split-type position.

For my recommended exercises and stretches during pregnancy start your Prenatal + Postnatal Membership today!

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