5 Pilates Exercises for Expectant Mothers: A Guide by Vesna Jacob

Prenatal Pilates holds significant importance and benefits for expectant mothers. Below are some recommended exercises they can safely perform.

5 Pilates Exercises for Expectant Mothers: A Guide by Vesna Jacob

Pilates, developed by Joseph Pilates, comprises exercises aimed at strength training, enhancing flexibility, and improving posture. These exercises, though basic and straightforward, can offer significant benefits to expecting mothers. However, it’s essential to ensure safety by obtaining approval from your doctor before engaging in Pilates during pregnancy. While Pilates is generally safe, overexertion should be avoided to prevent potential injuries, especially as certain hormones during pregnancy can increase ligament flexibility, making the body more susceptible. To learn more about prenatal Pilates, the editorial team at Onlymyhealth spoke with Fitness and Pilates Expert Vesna Jacob.

The Significance of Prenatal Pilate

Engaging in prenatal pilates can offer significant benefits for expectant mothers. By targeting the pelvic muscles, it contributes to their strength, which is particularly crucial as the baby’s weight increases and can alleviate backaches associated with pregnancy. Moreover, it aids in weight management during pregnancy and assists in addressing issues such as sore legs and fluid retention. Specific exercises within prenatal pilates can also aid in positioning the baby correctly for a smoother delivery. Fitness and Pilates Expert Vesna emphasizes the importance of prenatal pilates, highlighting its dual advantages for both mother and baby.

Pilates Exercises Specifically Designed for Prenatal Care

While many pilates exercises are generally suitable throughout all three trimesters, it’s crucial to consult your doctor for personalized recommendations, as individual body types and health conditions vary. According to pilates expert Vesna, here are a few safe pilates exercises for pregnancy:

1. Pelvic bridge

You should lay on your back with your knees bent, raising your back and holding the position briefly. This exercise targets the strengthening of your pelvic and gluteal muscles while enhancing hip balance. It places significant emphasis on the pelvic muscles.

 Pelvic bridge

2. Clam shell

Lie on your side on a mat with your knees bent in a fetal position. Next, gently open your knees and hold for 5-10 seconds before lowering them. This exercise targets the muscles of the thighs and obliques, aiding in strengthening your legs to support the growing weight of the baby.

3. Seated hundred

For this exercise, begin by lying down and simultaneously lifting your legs and neck while stretching your arms toward your legs. Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to rest. Avoid overexertion and only lift your legs to a comfortable level. This exercise aids in strengthening the abdominal muscles that support the baby and alleviates back strain.

4. Mermaid

For this specific exercise, sit with your back straight and both knees pointing toward the same side. Raise your hands up and bend your body in the opposite direction as far as is comfortable, then switch sides. This exercise aids in enhancing flexibility and strengthening the side abdominal muscles.


5. The Cat and Dog Stretch

Assume a position on both your palms and knees, then arch your spine outward and inward alternately. Hold each position for a few seconds. The Cat and Dog Stretch can be beneficial for individuals experiencing back pain, as it temporarily shifts the baby’s weight away from the lower back, providing relief to the mother. Additionally, it aids in enhancing posture and flexibility.


Pilates not only enhances physical well-being but also aids in stress relief. Diligently following expert guidance fosters better control over breathing during these exercises.

Pilates remains safe up to 16 weeks into pregnancy. Beyond this point, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid exerting undue pressure. Movements requiring lying on your back can induce more strain compared to others. While most pilates movements are gentle, moderation is key to avoiding potential drawbacks. Appropriate exercises at suitable times can certainly support you throughout your pregnancy.