Pilates and pregnancy

RCM Midwives. 2005 May;8(5):220-2.


Pregnancy is associated with a number of musculoskeletal problems. It is important to educate all mothers, as well as those involved in ante- and postnatal care with advice on bras and exercises that are safe in pregnancy (in particular pelvic floor exercises). There is not much that can be done to alter the inevitable physiological and hormonal changes of pregnancy. However, by strengthening the core stabilising muscles around the pelvis and spine, and improving the breathing pattern, it is hoped that one can optimise the body for the challenges it may face. Pilates is based on the principle that a central core is developed and then movements are introduced to challenge this core stability. This philosophy is clearly applicable in pregnancy--a significant test both mentally and physically on the mother's body. By maximising the mother's core stability before and during pregnancy, it should be possible to limit any potential harm. Returning to exercise soon after the birth is important for the mother's physical and mental wellbeing--she looks after her baby's body for nine months, who cares for hers?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Midwifery / standards*
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / nursing
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Psychophysiology*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Women's Health