Pilates During Pregnancy

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Pregnancy and Back Pain, Pilates Exercises


Pilates During Pregnancy
Pilates During Pregnancy

Pilates is an excellent exercise program for when you are pregnant – working on your core muscles will help for a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery.

However, as you progress through the trimesters, regular Pilates classes are not suitable as some of the positions can affect blood pressure and abdominal pressure within the foetal sac.

Research has shown that women who take moderate exercise during pregnancy are more likely to experience benefits such as easier labour and quicker recovery post labour, and reduce the risk of less pregnancy related pain such as back ache, swelling and muscle cramps.

So let’s look at some of the benefits in doing Pilates when you are pregnant.

Pregnancy Pilates - the benefits

During your pregnancy, your centre of gravity moves forward as your baby grows. This alters the shape of your lower spine which can lead to back pain in the later stages of pregnancy. The change in posture can inhibit the gluteal muscles with in turn reduces the stability of your pelvis.

Pilates exercises during pregnancy will help strengthen the gluteal muscles and improves posture to reduce the risk of back pain. It also concentrates on the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles which provides a stronger support for your growing baby and reduces the incidence of urinary incontinence both during labour and post partum.

Ante-natal Pilates can reduce the incidence and symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction.

However, having the correct technique is very important in pregnancy, so learning from a well trained Pilate’s instructor with a specific recognised qualification in Ante-Natal Pilates is of great importance to you.

Using Pilates during your pregnancy also helps you to:

  1. Maintain your fitness safely when pregnant by modifying your exercise regime. Many people come to me at the early to mid stages of their pregnancy asking me how they can continue to keep fit as they and their bump grow bigger in size. The answer will depend on your posture type and exercise history, but with correct instructions and advice you should be able to keep strong and fit throughout your pregnancy. Ante-Natal Pilates will help you maintain fitness throughout the second and third trimester.

  2. Teach you the correct breathing techniques Breathing is a core principle of Pilates and when experienced it will help you to relax and reduce the tension in your body and mind. The breathing techniques you perform in Pregnancy Pilates classes will help greatly to ease labour.

  3. Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This is a great aspect of Pilates. Prevention of incontinence is an important aspect of managing your pregnancy. It should be a priority as stress-related incontinence post-natally is very common indeed.

  4. Correctly position your baby for delivery Through performing core postural exercises throughout your pregnancy, you will help maintain a strong open posture will facilitate your baby to position itself and move around accordingly. This can reduce the risk of breech babies in most instances.

  5. Return your figure quickly after giving birth. Quite simply Pilates performed correctly and frequently enough can have amazing affects on your figure!!!

While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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