A group of first time mothers-to-be will take part in the research to determine whether undertaking Pilates affects their health and their birthing experiences.
Midwife and La Trobe PhD student Melissa Mazzarino will conduct the research, together with Professor Meg Morris from La Trobe and Healthscope, and Associate Professor Deb Kerr from Deakin University.
“Pilates has been around since the 1920s, but it’s only recently gone mainstream,” Ms Mazzarino said. “Celebrities devotees have made Pilates popular and now we’re seeing an increasing number of women taking up Pilates during pregnancy.
“Pregnant women are attracted to Pilates because they want to strengthen their core. They believe that it will help them avoid complications related to childbirth.
“The aim of this study is to determine whether doing Pilates during pregnancy leads to better health outcomes for women and positive birthing experiences.”
Ms Mazzarino, from La Trobe’s School of Allied Health, said previous research on Pilates has found strong evidence it can reduce pain and improve lower leg endurance.
“Most of this research has focused on musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back pain and many studies include both men and women. There is a lack of research that has investigated the health benefits of Pilates during pregnancy.”
The study will run in conjunction with St Vincent’s Private Hospital. Healthy women who are pregnant with their first baby and between 18 and 25 weeks gestation can apply to be part of the study.
For further information contact Melissa Mazzarino on 9919 2024 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464