Physically Fit Logo
buy membership
zoom classes

Why you should do Pilates during Pregnancy!

By Angela Jameson on 21 December 2020

If you find yourself pregnant and not sure what you can and can’t do with regards to exercises, then starting Pilates is a great low impact, strengthening workout that will keep you strong during your pregnancy but also prepare you for the demands of labour and motherhood. 

Pilates involves a variety of movements that can be adapted to suit all stages of pregnancy. The movements are done in a controlled way and in a variety of positions such as standing, side lying, kneeling or on hands and knees. Although Pilates can adapt exercises to suit you, its important to listen to your body and stop if there is pain!

A specific prenatal Pilates class will ensure you work your whole body to build strength, and it will also help ensure you develop a more functional core connection by integrating breathe and pelvic floor through movement. This will better support your growing bump and also reduce the loading (from your growing bump) down in your pelvis. 

Aim to do atleast 2 sessions of building strength per week and give yourself a rest day between these two sessions. If you are new to Pilates, keep the intensity low and build moderately. Your breathing will be able to help you with this, if you can talk through an exercise you are not overexerting. If you can’t talk then you may be over working and need to slow down a little. 

Although Pilates is a fabulous exercise to start and continue through your pregnancy, there are a few things you should avoid; 

First Trimester (1-12 weeks)

This is where you are at the most risk of a miscarriage. Pilates is a safe exercise to perform but the intensity must be lighter to avoid increase in body temperature and heart rate. Elevating too much can increase risk of a miscarriage. Although your bump may not show, I would recommend reducing the amount of ‘crunch’ type exercises and focus on pelvic floor and a more integrated functional approach to core strength. 

Second Trimester (13-26 weeks)

  1. Avoid Flexion to help reduce increasing pressure on your abdominal midline which can increase chances of Diastasis Recti.
  2. Avoid lying on your back. We want to reduce the effects of supine hypotensive disorder (a compression of a main artery that returns blood back to the heart. This may cause you to feel faint or dizzy and reduce the oxygen supply to the baby. 
  3. Avoid lying on your stomach, this may just start to feel uncomfortable and be too much pressure on your growing belly. 

Third Trimester (27 weeks to birth)

During this trimester, your baby may an increased growth spurt and this can cause more of a dramatic posture change. Its important in pilates during this stage to focus on reducing the pressure of the lower back and doing more stretching and back strengthening exercises. 

Other considerations

  1. Always wear layers so that you can adjust your temperature to keep cool during your workouts! A baby cannot regulate their temperature so relies on you to control overheating!
  2. Stay hydrated during and after your workouts
  3. Avoid any contact/hitting sports such as Boxing, Kickboxing or Jujitsu.
  4. Always do a longer than usual warm up and cool down to avoid blood pooling and leg cramps!
  5. Activate your pelvic floor throughout all your movements to ensure you remain strong and supported in your pelvis. 
  6. Stop if you feel dizzy, nauseous, vaginal bleeding or leakage of amniotic fluid. 

I hope this helps to put you at ease that being active and healthy throughout your pregnancy is so important for mind and body. I hope you find doing Pilates regularly helps to support you and build strength and confidence throughout your pregnancy. 

"I started physically-fit for mothers who want to prepare and recover quickly from childbirth. We offer group and one to one fitness sessions and our membership club allows you to follow our premium videos at a time and place right for you."
Visit my blog