I was recently asked about Pilates exercise during pregnancy for our Moms-to-be. Pilates is a wonderful prenatal option! Pilates strengthens the abdominals and pelvic floor, which helps during the later months of pregnancy, reducing back pain, works as a prep for an easier delivery, minimizes the diastasis, and keeps the abdominals toned for a faster recovery. Pilates exercise also strengthens posture and improves balance which can be compromised as the body changes. Once baby is born, Pilates makes Mom strong so she can lift the new baby up and down, get up and down from the floor, and get in and out of cars with baby, a bag and a stroller etc.
We have had several Moms- to-be who participated in Pilates classes or private sessions all the way through their 9th month. Some women continued until they were days or hours from giving birth. They have credited Pilates to an easier birthing experience and a much faster recovery.
Of course everyone is different. Any new Mom-to-be should speak with her doctor before beginning any form of exercise. Group Pilates classes are not recommended for those who are unfamiliar with Pilates, while one-on-one private sessions would be good for the otherwise active Mom. Those who participate in Pilates regularly before becoming pregnant are usually fine to continue throughout their pregnancy. After the 4th month, exercises will need to be modified so private sessions or working with a group of other expectant mothers may be necessary.
If you are planning a new addition to your family, begin your Pilates program prior to becoming pregnant. It will help you to be strong and healthy and have a more pleasant experience.
(Photo above taken at our former studio. “Kristen” continued Pilates classes all the way through to just days of giving birth)