Pilates during pregnancy

Current research has shown that exercising during pregnancy has many benefits and as long as the exercise is appropriate for each stage of the pregnancy should not be detrimental to either the mother or the foetus.

When selecting a Pilates class it is important to choose an instructor who has undergone specialised training and is qualified for working with pregnant clients. Pregnant clients who have already done Pilates before becoming pregnant are fine in a mainstream class for the beginning of their pregnancy but after the first trimester certain positions and exercises should be adapted or avoided altogether so I would recommend considering Personal Training where your individual needs can be met.

Pregnancy places huge stresses on both the body and mind and the gentle approach and calming effect of Modern Pilates is ideal. Back pain is often an associated problem due to the inevitable changes in posture and pressure placed on the lower back with the increasing size of the bump. Pilates exercises will create a stronger core to help you carry the increasing weight of your baby and will improve the strength of the lower back, reducing pain.


Instability around the pelvic area can result in conditions known as ‘Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction’ and ‘Sacro Iliac Dysfunction’, both fairly common during pregnancy. Modern Pilates is a great way of dealing with such issues and can also be helpful post-natally when the body is re-adapting after the birth.   

Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor is fundamental during pregnancy and you will learn how to locate these muscles as well as learning a variety of ways of working them. 

With the increasing weight of the breasts, upper back posture is often compromised as the pregnancy advances so working to strengthen the muscles in the upper back and lengthen the muscles in the front of the chest will help to address this problem.

During pregnancy there is an increase of the hormone relaxin which can make the joints of the body less stable. Modern Pilates focuses on joint stability and will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, particularly around the pelvis and the shoulders. Balance will also become more difficult because of the constantly changing centre of gravity so exercises to improve balance and stability in general will be beneficial.


To summarise, doing Pilates during pregnancy will result in better posture, less back pain, stronger abdominals and pelvic floor, improved blood circulation, reduced chance of leg cramps, constipation, varicose veins and enhanced mental well-being, relaxation and self-esteem.