Pregnancy, Women Guide

Pilates During and After Pregnancy

Pilates: Gentle Body Center Training – Targeted training helps prevent incontinence and cervical erosion. Pilates is a functional full-body workout that strengthens the deep-seated muscles in the pelvic floor, abdomen, and back.

Pilates classes extra for pregnant women

However, general Pilates classes are inappropriate for pregnant women, as they exercise in particular the abdominal muscles, which should not be used during pregnancy and the puerperium. Meanwhile, many midwives offer special Pilates classes designed to meet the needs of pregnant women and young mothers.

The exercises provide relief for the joints, muscles and spine, which are heavily used during pregnancy. At the same time, the musculature of the pelvic floor is trained: This has a positive effect on the delivery and the regression.

The flowing and deliberately performed exercises lead to a strengthening of the body center and a better perception of the body. Similar to yoga, Pilates exercises are performed in harmony with the breath.

Although the risk of injury is rather low, women should have the basics and proper execution of the exercises demonstrated by a trained trainer. Only then can possible postural errors be avoided.

If you are already familiar with the basics of various exercises, Pilates can also be performed at home. But there are also very gentle exercises that can be performed without any prior knowledge.

Exercises for pregnancy and after birth

During pregnancy, the rising weight of the back of the expectant mum is heavily used. With gentle exercises, the muscles in this area can be strengthened. Also, the posture is improved by increasing the middle of the body. Through conscious and deep breathing, the baby in the womb is optimally supplied with oxygen.

After birth, the uterus must slowly regress and the muscles of the pelvic floor strengthening. Attention: The straight abdominal muscles should not be stressed after birth until the gap in the middle of the abdomen has closed again. The midwife controls this so-called diastase as part of the aftercare.

We introduce you to some exercises:

  • Shoulder Bridge: Lie on an exercise mat in the supine position, raise your legs and place your arms sideways. Breathe in calmly and relaxed through the nose and mouth again. The next time you breathe in, tense your pelvic floor and gently push your pelvis upwards, rolling slowly swirl after swirl until you rest on your shoulder blades. As you exhale, roll the whirls down gradually. Repeat five times. The shoulder bridge strengthens the lower back, stretches the neck muscles and strengthens the pelvic floor.
  • Katzenbuckel: To relieve the back from the shoulder bridge something, the Katzenbuckel is ideal. First, get in the quadruped stand and make sure that your hands are under the shoulders and your legs are about hip-width. As you breathe out, bring your pelvis forward, hang your head and go into the cat hump. As you breathe in, gently roll back to the starting position, whirl after a swirl. Effect: With the cat hump spine and neck are loosened. Repeat five times.
  • Back Power: Go to the quadruped stand. Stretch out your right leg and left arm as you exhale. The neck is long and relaxed and you look at the mat. When inhaling, go back to the starting position and change sides. Effect: This exercise gives you a lot of power for the back. Repeat five times

Exercises with tools

Many of the exercises are performed on a non-slip gymnastics mat while standing, in the quadruped position and the back or side position. Aids are for example a Pilates ring and a Pilatesrolle, which can increase the intensity of the exercises.

Pilates after birth

After a normal birth, the young mothers usually begin to recover and gently exercise after 6 to 8 weeks. If cesarean section delivered the baby, doctors recommend a close season of about three months. Before you start Pilates, you should always seek the consent of your attending physician.

It is always advisable to have the exercises shown in a special Pilates class. Especially after birth, it is important to rebuild the pelvic floor muscles slowly. With targeted training, which is ideally integrated even later in the daily routine, incontinence and a lowering of the uterus can be prevented.

Many young mothers wonder if the sports influences are breastfeeding. For gentle sports, including Pilates, you can continue to breastfeed without any problems. A physically demanding workout, for example, marathon, can sometimes affect the amount of milk.

In general, the first few weeks after birth, women should step down a bit and give their body a bit of peace.


  • Functional whole body training after Josef H. Pilates
  • The Powerhouse, a strong body center, is at the center of the exercises
  • Abdominal muscles, back and abdomen, are included
  • Some gentle exercises are ideal during and after pregnancy
  • Aids such as pilates roll or rings increase the intensity of the exercises

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