woman doing pilates while pregnant

Pilates While Pregnant: Everything You Need to Know

Can You Do Pilates While Pregnant?

You’ve been wondering can you do pilates while pregnant? Is pilates good for pregnancy? Is pilates bad for pregnancy? Learn everything you want to know about doing pilates while pregnant here.

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pilates while pregnant


What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise that is designed to stretch, and strengthen the body. It was created almost 100 years ago and is named after its creator: Joseph Pilates.

Pilates is a type of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles. Pilates can be done in a Pilates studio, at home, or even outside. Pilates is a low-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t put stress on your joints.

Pilates can be done with only your body weight, using bands and rings, or by using a Pilates reformer. 

Pilates is a great form of exercise, similar to yoga in that it focuses on stretching and breathing but definitely not the same. However they do blend together beautifully.

When doing Pilates expect to do small movements, lots of repetitions, and to really feel the burn.


Can You Do Pilates While Pregnant?

You will be pleased to know that you absolutely can  do Pilates during your pregnancy. In fact, Pilates is a great way to stay active during your pregnancy.

It can help keep you flexible, toned, and strong. Pilates can also help relieve some common pregnancy symptoms such as back pain and swelling.

However, it’s important to talk with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program during pregnancy. Pilates may not be appropriate for every pregnant woman. If you have any health concerns, or if you are experiencing complications, Pilates may not be the best choice for you.


RELATED: The Importance of a Prenatal Workout Plan and the Best one to Follow


Benefits of Doing Pilates While Pregnant

Pilates is one of the best types of workouts for pregnancy and especially for postpartum recovery. Pilates is low impact, meaning easy on the joints (like swimming or using resistance bands instead of weights). Low impact workotus are a great way to keep up with a prenatal workout plan through the second and third trimesters. 

During pregnancy it is so important to focus on strengthening the tansverse abdominus. This muscle acts as a corset, holding your waist (and now the baby) in. Also known as your TA or your deep core.

Only highly specific prenatal workout plans like The Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan walk you through workouts that will strengthen your TA throughout your pregnancy which directly:

  • lowers the severity of diastasis recti
  • counteracts typical pregnancy aches and pains
  • aids in posture during pregnancy
  • speeds your postpartum recovery

Prenatal pilates also focuses a lot on strengtheing your TA muscles. 

It should be mentioned that regular Pilates (meaning not specifically prenatal Pilates) is also very beneficial to do during your pregnancy. You should always keep in mind all the considerations about how to exercise safely during pregnancy and modify or omit the moves that do not fit into that guide. 

Also knowing how to exercise safely in the 3rd trimester is important as well.

Benefits of doing Pilates during pregnancy are:

  1. Improved strength in your core muscles. (Your TA and all other core muscles as well.)
  2. Improved balance.
  3. Relaxing the neck, shoulders, and back.
  4. Preventing injuries.
  5. Relaxation and Stress management.
  6. Improved focus on breathing for labor.
  7. Improved posture.
  8. Increased flexibility.


the perfect pregnancy fitness plan


Hazards of Doing Pilates While Pregnant

Though Pilates is typically a great choice for a prenatal workout (in fact the Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan has Pilates routines in it), not every move should be completed through every trimester and there are some people who shouldn’t exercise in this manner as per their doctor’s orders.

The best way to figure out while Pilates moves you should and should not be doing throught pregnancy is to first read this guide to safe prenatal exercise.

Some things to rememeber when doing Pilates while pregnant:

  • After about half way through your pregnancy you will want to avoid exercising flat on your back. Either eliminate moves on your back or use a bolster to raise up a bit.
  • You do not want to work out your abdominal muscles after the first trimester. You only want to be working out your deep core and obliques during your pregnancy.
  • If it feels wrong stop. 
  • Your joints are more loose while pregnant and even more so as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Your balance isn’t the same while pregnant.


How to Start Doing Pilates While Pregnant

Pilates is a great way to stay active during your pregnancy. It can help keep you flexible, toned, and strong. Pilates can also help relieve some common pregnancy symptoms such as back pain and swelling.

If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to do Pilates while pregnant, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Avoid doing Pilates on your back after the first trimester. Pilates on your back can decrease blood flow to the baby.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after Pilates class, and stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy.
  • Modify any exercises that are too challenging or uncomfortable.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable.
  • Take a break if you need it. Pregnant women should not do Pilates for more than an hour per day.

Pilates can be a great way to stay active and healthy during your pregnancy. Just make sure to talk with your doctor first, and always listen to your body. 


Great Pilates Moves to Do While Pregnant

The following are some popular Pilates moves:

This list is by no means all-inclusive! It’s just meant to get you started on your prenatal Pilates journey!


Wrapping Up Pilates While Pregnant: Everything You Want to Know

Pilates is a great way to stay healthy during your pregnancy. Pilates can be done in the comfort of your own home, in a studio, or even outside, and it’s low-impact so it won’t put much strain on you joints.

Just make sure to talk with your doctor before starting Pilates while pregnant, because even though most will, not all women will benefit from Pilates during pregnancy.

If you’re given the green light, try out this Prenatal Pilates Routine from The Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan, the only preventative prenatal fitness program that addresses changes and weaknesses in a pregnant woman’s body before they become an issue.


More Prenatal Workout Resources You’ll Love

Prenatal Yoga Routine

Prenatal Pilates Routine

First Trimester Cardio Workout


Can You Do Pilates While Pregnant?

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