Pre and Post-Natal Pilates




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Published December 14, 2020

Future and new mums rejoice—there is a safe and accessible exercise option for you!

The road of pregnancy and new motherhood is full of ups-and-downs. Every mum is different and may experience a variety of changes including morning sickness, fatigue, back pain, movement restrictions, and of course, the obvious changes in shape and size! Maintaining exercise might feel like the last priority during that pregnancy and post-pregnancy period, but Pilates might just be a great option for you.

Pilates offers new and expecting mums a safe exercise method that facilitates strong core strength, flexibility, and movement. Pre or post-natal Pilates targets areas of the body that support key muscle groups which are affected during pregnancy—like the back, glutes, and abdomen. It is a great way to support the physical changes during pregnancy, while encouraging greater body connection and awareness. 

What the research says

Research supports Pilates as a beneficial practice for expecting and new mothers. Pilates is proven to be completely safe for expecting mothers and their baby. Not only that, but it is also linked to better health outcomes and prevention of pregnancy complications! Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased lumbar support and prevention/treatment of back pain
  • Prevention of excessive weight gain
  • Prevention of macrosomia (high birth weight)
  • Restrengthens pelvic floor muscles
  • Improves Diastasis Rectus (separation of rectus abdominis, common in pregnancy)
  • Corrects and improves posture
  • Reduces post-natal fatigue
  • Prevention of pre-eclampsia
  • Reduces post-natal depression

Pre- and Post-Natal Pilates at Pilates Can

Pilates Can offers pre and post-natal Pilates through private and semi-private Pilates sessions. Each mum receives a thorough assessment and a personalised Pilates program designed to target their individual needs, restrictions, and goals. As you progress through your pregnancy, the instructor will guide you through changes to the Pilates program based on your body. The private and semi-private sessions allow for this personalised focus so you can feel assured all your needs will be taken cared of.

Group mat Pilates sessions may also be an option for pre or post-natal Pilates, provided there is no significant abdominal separation. We recommend talking to your doctor about whether exercise is suitable for you during your pregnancy, and we ask for clearance from your doctor to return to exercise after birth to ensure it is the right thing for your body. 

Case Studies

Mum-of-four Karli (38) joined Pilates Can after her second pregnancy to address some exercise issues she had at the time. She has practiced Pilates flexibly over the last few years through two more pregnancies. Karli found that Pilates has improved and maintained her general fitness, strength, and flexibility. Pilates also helped close the abdominal wall widening she experienced after her second pregnancy. She found that this separation was significantly less in her subsequent pregnancies. In addition to the physical changes, Karli also felt the mental health benefits of Pilates.

“It was lovely to be around a supportive instructor and familiar group each class. Mentally it gave me somewhere to go where I could have some space and time to do something for myself.”

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Amanda (34) began Pilates two years before her first pregnancy in 2018, and is currently expecting baby number two! She finds Pilates a great way to keep moving despite experiencing periods of fatigue during pregnancy. By strengthening her body, she believes Pilates is a great way to prepare for the physical changes of new motherhood. Like Karli, Amanda enjoyed the social and wellbeing aspects of pre-natal Pilates—her husband even joined in too!

Both Karli and Amanda continue to enjoy and practice Pilates. They both commend their instructors with continuing to check in and modify their sessions depending on their stage of pregnancy. Amanda recommends pre- and post-natal Pilates to other mums looking to feel better during and after pregnancies. 


About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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