Are Pilates Workouts Safe For Expectant Moms?
Can I continue doing Pilates while pregnant? I know I should not be lying on my back for long periods of time, but can you give me some other pointers of what to avoid in a Pilates reformer work out? - Alisha
The expert answers
I don't have a lot of direct experience with Pilates, but I do know that it
relies heavily on strengthening the core muscles of the body through the use
of the Reformer. You're right about avoiding back-lying exercise after your
first trimester - it can cause you to feel dizzy and/or faint, and it can
eventually lead to oxygen deprivation in your baby.
Because Pilates focuses on using the abdominals as a stabilizing force, those muscles can become over-stressed during pregnancy. If you are at risk for developing a separation of your abdominal muscles, Pilates exercises would not be a good idea. Instead, you might want to switch to strengthening exercises using hand weights or resistance tubing while you're in a standing, sitting, side-lying, or all-fours position. You'll be able to maintain your strength throughout the remainder of your pregnancy and then jump back into Pilates after your baby arrives.
If you decide to continue with Pilates during your pregnancy, be very careful to avoid holding your breath during the exercises, drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated, and be aware of feeling dizzy or faint. If you do start to feel lightheaded, IMMEDIATELY roll onto your left side until the feelings subside.