Pilates during pregnancy – why bother?

October 15, 2015 | By More

bigstock-Pregnant-woman-excercises-with-26860289 copy

Catherine Browne – Chartered Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s & Men’s Health – has written another informative and insightful blog outlining the advantages of Pilates exercise during pregnancy.

Pilates during pregnancy

By Catherine Browne

Chartered Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s & Men’s Health

Clinical Pilates Instructor

There are so many myths and old wives’ tales when it comes to pregnancy. While all advice is welcome, it can sometimes be hard to source reliable and accurate information. The aim of this blog is to give you an overview of Pilates in pregnancy.

Are you exhausted? Nauseous? Uncomfortable? Nervous?

While exercise may be the last thing on your mind as you adjust to your changing body, current research suggests that healthy women and their babies may benefit from participating in regular exercise during pregnancy.

  • Exercise may reduce your risk of having an unplanned caesarean section by 20%. It may also reduce your risk of having a large baby by 31% without changing the risk of having a small or earlier baby.
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can increase the risk of childhood obesity for your baby. Exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise during pregnancy can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Despite beneficial effects of exercise, only 1 of 6 pregnant women in the United States and Northern Europe follows the recommendations and the majority of pregnant women reduce the duration, frequency, and intensity of exercise once they become pregnant.

Why Pilates over other types of exercise?

Pilates helps to prepare your body for labour, birth and the immediate post-natal period. Here are some of the specific benefits of pilates during pregnancy:

  1. Relaxation: Pregnancy can be an emotional journey. Pilates offers you some time to focus on you and your baby, to reconnect with your body. Pilates focuses on breathing control and relaxation. The importance of breathing is often underestimated and these techniques are important to prepare you for labour and the birthing process.


  1. Posture: The physical demands of a growing baby can lead to a number of postural changes:
  • rounding forward of the shoulders
  • forward tilting of the pelvis and over-arching in the lower back
  • tightness in the hips
  • weakening of abdominal and pelvic floor muscles

As a result, low back and pelvic pain are common during pregnancy which can make daily activities more difficult. Pilates is a gentle and safe form of exercise that can help to alleviate these symptoms.


  1. Stability and Strength: During pregnancy, hormones are released to increase the laxity of your ligaments to allow for birth. This process can all lead to instability in the pelvis and back. Strength of the abdominal muscles is also reduced as your baby grows bigger. Pilates can help to improve stability and strength in these areas.


  1. Balance: Your centre of gravity changes during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby. The increased abdominal weight alters your postural stability and may increase your risk of falls. Pilates can help to improve your balance and co-ordination.


  1. Pelvic floor muscles: Weight gain, postural changes, increased laxity in your ligaments, and decreased abdominal strength can put your pelvic floor under a lot of strain. Many women experience urinary leaking with coughing, sneezing, laughing and other daily activities. Pilates can help you to isolate and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will provide support to your growing baby, reduce urinary leaking and prepare your body for the birthing process.


Pregnancy Pilates is great way to promote strength, mobility, flexibility, good posture and overall cardiovascular fitness. Our classes are a great meeting place for mums to be in a welcoming and relaxing environment. Read more about our pregnancy pilates here. Call 091 727777  or email us via the contact page to book an appointment with Chartered Physiotherapist in Women’s Health – Catherine Browne

    Category: Uncategorized

    Comments are closed.