Many expectant moms find that pilates feels great and is quite helpful during pregnancy. I certainly did. Pilates strengthens your muscles, especially your deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, to prepare your body for the exciting changes ahead. The practice helped me feel a greater sense of readiness in my body, and in my mind as well.

In pilates, we give particular attention to your alignment as you move. This helps protect the joints of expectant moms, as our ligaments soften and our posture naturally changes as pregnancy progresses. Moving in healthy alignment can provide welcome relief to tense, overtired tissues.

Part of the wonder of pilates is its adaptability for each individual body. We all come to pregnancy in different body conditions — some of us running marathons lately, others pulling marathon sessions at work. We experience pregnancy differently as we go. The pilates mat and equipment, especially the Cadillac, Reformer and Wunda Chair, offer many possibilities to adapt positions and exercises for each expectant mom.

Teaching expectant clients in my pilates privates, we at New Leaf follow the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and current industry standards for safe exercise during pregnancy. Special considerations for exercise during pregnancy include: avoiding lying supine after the 16th week of pregnancy, greater support for the lumbar area, and avoiding overstretching lax tissues.

Please consult your doctor. If s/he advises pilates exercise for you at this time, then it would be our honor to support your healthy pregnancy through pilates.