6 Prenatal Pilates Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Prenatal Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise you can do throughout pregnancy. However, it’s important that we consider the following tips when starting any pregnancy exercise routine.

Ensure that you’re practising specific Prenatal Pilates exercises

It is important to note that while Prenatal Pilates and Prenatal Yoga classes are safe, a regular Pilates or Yoga class that is designed for the public may not be.

Like most forms of exercise during pregnancy, Pilates is perfectly safe if it is modified appropriately.

Work with a certified Prenatal Pilates instructor

It is crucial to work under the guidance of an experienced prenatal instructor who can accommodate you throughout pregnancy. There may be specific concerns you have about your body and you need to work with someone comfortable modifying exercises for you.

Prenatal Pilates can be modified throughout your pregnancy

There are several exercises that women should avoid during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. These include abdominal crunches, full planks, side planks, exercises laying on the belly, and long holds in certain positions.

In the Pilates repertoire, this still leaves hundreds of different exercises to perform, especially if you are using Pilates machines and equipment. It is crucial you always let the instructor know that you’re pregnant, and how far along you are.

Prenatal Pilates is low-impact & low intensity

It is important for pregnant women to keep their core body temperature at a healthy level and avoid overheating. It is also crucial to perform exercises that are low impact so that no extra stress is placed on the body.

When performed correctly, Pilates exercises should challenge all the major muscle groups in the body. You may feel tired after attending a class, but you will never leave feeling like you are at the point of exhaustion. Prenatal Pilates is even more gentle. An experienced instructor will be able to challenge you and help to strengthen your body without overtraining.

Prenatal Pilates can help you prepare for labour

There are 3 specific ways Prenatal Pilates can help a woman prepare for labour. Firstly, when a woman is in labour, the muscles around her abdomen and pelvis perform a very precise routine to deliver the baby safely. It is incredibly helpful if a woman is aware of which muscles to contract and release to assist the process.

Prenatal Pilates classes focus on learning to engage and release the pelvic floor muscles, which are the main muscles involved in pushing and delivering the baby. The more we can learn to correctly engage these muscles and release them with control, the more likely they will assist you through birth.

Secondly, one of the main principles of Pilates is breathing. Every class will include a focus on breathing deeply and correctly. Learning to breathe deeply and slowly is an excellent way to help prepare for labour. The diaphragm is one of the core muscles. Learning to use it effectively will assist a woman through labour, allowing her to breathe deeply through contractions and avoid holding her breath.

Thirdly, Prenatal Pilates works on strengthening and conditioning the body. This means that a woman will be better equipped to handle the duration of labour with more stamina. Labour can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. It can be a long and demanding process. Having a good base level of fitness and strength will allow a woman to cope more easily with the demands of this time.

Prenatal Pilates can help you recover more easily from birth

If a woman has a stronger core, gluteal muscles, shoulders, and spine, she will be starting from a much better place for recovery than if she had not exercised at all during pregnancy. Attending regular Prenatal Pilates classes to build strength throughout pregnancy. Furthermore, having strength in these areas will also assist with the demands of new motherhood. Hours spent holding the baby, rocking, and feeding can put a lot of pressure on the neck and upper back. If the core is stronger, to begin with, and the shoulders are supporting the weight of the baby, it is less likely that a woman will experience pain and discomfort in these areas.


Prenatal Pilates is one of the best and safest forms of exercise for women during pregnancy. It avoids high-intensity and high-impact exercise. It can also be modified to suit all trimesters, meaning that it is suitable from the very early stages right up until your due date.

An experienced instructor will always be able to accommodate a pregnant client into a general group class, although a tailored prenatal Pilates class is always the best option, if available.

Prenatal Pilates can also help specifically in preparing for birth and delivery. The birth process can be long and demanding – it is important women feel strong and capable leading up to this event and have the tools needed to work through every stage. Lastly, Prenatal Pilates is ideal for preparing a woman for the early stages of recovery and new motherhood.

All the strength and support that is built up during pregnancy will be incredibly useful during this time. It means a woman is likely to recover more quickly (either from a natural delivery or c-section) if she has a good base of strength to begin with.

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