Is Pilates safe during pregnancy?

Yes, indeed, it is one of the best forms of exercise you can do while pregnant. A Pilates program designed for pregnant women targets muscles that are problem areas during pregnancy, namely the pelvic floor, back, and stomach.

pelvic floor

Having a strong pelvic floor helps support your bowels, bladder, and uterus (and the baby growing in them). This helps reduce urine leakage that many women experience during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester.


By strengthening your upper and lower back muscles through Pilates, you can reduce back pain. With an increasing amount of weight placed in front, this can put enormous pressure on the lower back.


Because pregnancy makes your tissues and ligaments more flexible, it’s easier to get injured. Strong stomach muscles help hold in and keep your baby from moving as much when you move. It’s this weight shift that can throw you off balance and end up with an injury (or worse, hurt your baby).

Strengthen these muscles, and you’ll not only have a nice stable core to support your growing baby, but also better posture, balance, and strength for yourself.

A couple of additional benefits of doing Pilates while pregnant are:

  • it also helps you relax and control your breathing, which will help with labor.
  • Because you’re on your hands and knees for many of the movements, Pilates can help position your baby correctly for delivery as you near the end of your pregnancy.

When choosing a Pilates studio, be sure to ask if they have experience with pregnant women. Many studios have certified programs and instructors trained to help this very special group of women.

As for when to start a Pilates program, you should do it now before you get pregnant as part of your regular exercise program. Then, once you know she’s pregnant, switch to a program for pregnant moms.

The reason is that if you have strong core muscles before you get pregnant, you will have an easier time maintaining these muscles once pregnant and an easier pregnancy overall. Starting a Pilates after getting pregnant is still beneficial; it’s just that it will take a little longer to get your muscles in shape than if you had been doing Pilates before you got pregnant.

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your medical provider to make sure you’re healthy enough. This is especially important if you are already pregnant and want to start doing Pilates.

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