September 16, 2023 5 min read

So, there's a bun in your oven, and suddenly everyone's an expert on what you should and shouldn't do. Right? While Aunt Karen is busy suggesting a list of forbidden foods, you're just wondering if you can still nail that Pilates routine without any side-eye. 

Pilates, with its core-strengthening and posture-perfecting magic, may have been your go-to way to chill and get toned. But now that you've got a mini-you on board, is it still cool to roll out that mat and strike a pose? 

Let's get the real deal on whether Pilates and pregnancy are a match made in fitness heaven or if it’s time for a little break. 

But First, What Exactly Is Pilates?

Alright, mama, let's set the record straight. Pilates isn't some newfangled exercise trend that's just emerged. It’s been here, doing its thing since the 1920s, thanks to the genius Joseph Pilates. 

The core idea behind Pilates? Enhancing low-impact flexibility, building muscular strength, and boosting endurance. So, while it might not get you panting like a high-intensity workout, it's sneakily making sure every muscle does its fair share of work.

It’s kind of like the sophisticated cousin of yoga with a sprinkle of strength training. And the best part? It puts a massive focus on your core, ensuring that your belly, back, and everything in between are getting the love they deserve. 

And those fancy-looking machines you've glimpsed in some studios? That's Reformer Pilates, adding a touch of resistance to the whole deal.

What Are the Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy?

pilates-while-pregnant

Before we zero in on Pilates specifically, let's chat about the broader picture: exercising while pregnant. Because, let’s face it — while the idea of nesting on the couch with snacks and a Netflix binge sounds tempting (and absolutely okay on some days!), keeping your body moving during these transformative months offers a whole basket of perks.

These include:

Mood Enhancement

Hormones can go wild during pregnancy, and sometimes they bring along mood swings. Exercise, including Pilates, releases endorphins — those feel-good chemicals that act as natural mood lifters. So, a bit of stretching and sweating can be just the thing to lift your spirits on a moody day.

Improved Posture

With your center of gravity shifting thanks to your growing baby bump, your posture can sometimes take a hit. Engaging in exercises that focus on the back and core can help you maintain that tall, confident stance even when you feel like you're waddling.

Easier Labor and Recovery

Some studies suggest that mamas who've remained active have an easier time during labor and tend to recover faster postpartum. While we're not promising a breezy labor (if only!), being physically prepared can certainly give you a bit of an edge.

Weight Management

While pregnancy is definitely a time when gaining weight is generally both healthy and expected, regular exercise can help ensure that you're staying within the recommended range, making it easier to bounce back post-baby.

Reduced Pregnancy Discomfort

Those aches, pains, and cramps? Exercise can alleviate some of those common pregnancy discomforts. By strengthening your muscles and enhancing flexibility, activities like Pilates can help manage back pain and leg cramps.

Better Sleep

When that belly is growing, finding a comfortable sleeping position becomes a nightly challenge. Exercise can tire you out (in a good way!) and promote deeper, more restful sleep.

Enhanced Blood Circulation

Keeping active stimulates blood flow, reducing the risk of swelling in your extremities and preventing those dreaded leg cramps.

While indulging in cravings and relaxing are part and parcel of the pregnancy journey (hello, pickles and ice cream at midnight), incorporating exercise, like Pilates, can be your secret weapon to sailing through these nine months with a bit more ease and a lot more glow.

What Do the Experts Say?

So, what do the experts have to say about this Pilates-pregnancy combo? Believe it or not, most healthcare professionals and fitness gurus give a big thumbs-up to Pilates during pregnancy — with a few caveats.

Listen to Your Body

First and foremost, always listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right or causes discomfort, it's okay to skip or modify a move. Your body knows best, mama!

Modify Certain Moves

As your pregnancy progresses, some exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, like the supine position, may need adjustment. This position can reduce blood flow to the baby, so it’s better to play it safe.

Trained Instructors

Ensure that your Pilates instructor is trained in prenatal exercise or has experience working with pregnant women. They'll guide you safely through the routines and offer alternatives as needed.

Avoid Overstretching

Thanks to the hormone relaxin, your joints and ligaments become more flexible during pregnancy. While it might feel great to stretch a bit more, be cautious not to overdo it.

Always Consult Your OB/GYN

Every pregnancy is unique. Before diving into or continuing with any fitness routine, especially Pilates, always have a chat with your doctor or midwife to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.

Quick Tips To Make the Most of Your Pilates Sessions

pilates-while-pregnant

Ready to get the most out of those Pilates sessions? We've got some tips for you, plus a couple of essentials that will keep you feeling fabulous while you flex.

Comfort is Key

Make sure you're comfortable throughout your Pilates routine. Our Modern Eternity Zara Yoga Maternity Capri is not just a game-changer because it looks great but because it adapts to your growing bump, ensuring you feel cozy while doing those stretches.

Stay Hydrated

Keep a water bottle nearby to sip on. Staying hydrated helps you maintain energy levels and prevents muscle cramps.

Breathe Right

Remember to breathe deeply and consistently. Deep breaths help oxygenate your body and the little one growing inside you.

Support Matters

The right support makes all the difference. Consider incorporating our Maternity Shaping Panty into your workout wardrobe. It offers that gentle, seamless support under your leggings, ensuring your growing belly feels embraced while you move and groove.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Start with a gentle warm-up to prepare your body, and try to finish with a cool-down stretch. This ensures your muscles are ready for the workout and relax smoothly afterward.

Wrapping Things Up

Navigating pregnancy is an adventure filled with discoveries and joys — but also questions galore. As you strike that Pilates pose or simply take a moment to breathe, always remember you're doing an incredible job, mama! 

At Motherhood, we're right here with you every stretch of the way, cheering you on, providing the comfort and support you need, and celebrating the wonderful journey of motherhood with you. Embrace each moment, trust in your strength, and know that we've got your back (and your bump!). 

Until next time, stay fabulous and keep glowing!

Sources:

The History of Pilates | Pilates Method Alliance

Hormones During Pregnancy - Health Encyclopedia | University of Rochester Medical Center

How to improve and boost circulation | AXA Health

Physical activity during pregnancy and its influence on delivery time: a randomized clinical trial | PMC

Pilates in Pregnancy: Is It Safe and When to Start | Tommy's



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