The biggest misunderstanding for Pilates and pregnancy

Don’t let prejudices and misinformations keep you away from the mat or the reformer while you’re expecting

For most women, being pregnant is a good news, and goes with celebration. But when you hear the heartbeat a few weeks later, it’s not uncommon for some of that initial excitement to morph into worry and stress. After all, it’s a lot on your shoulders, and women are then placed in the position to make that little life grows healthy or not; They receive many injonctions and orders ; what to do, what not to do; No pressure.

Of all the things that might be stressful and source of anxiety, Pilates should not be one of those.   To help calm down any fear you might have—and keep you safe and feeling good throughout the next nine months—I’ve asked my expert friends: doctors, midwife and my self (Pre&postnatal Pilates expert) about the risks and benefits to practice Pilates while pregnant;

Pregnant women shouldn’t do Pilates if they didn’t practice before

“Pilates is easily adapted to anyone and everyone. It can be modified to suit any needs and any level, whter you’ve practiced before or not is not a problem : Pilates will be adapted to pregnant’s body’s needs. One of the key principle of Pilates is . The to help women maintain strength in a safe environment. if you haven’t done Pilates before is not a problem, we will start and adapt throughout the pregnancy. Jey Pilates Instructor _

When you are not pregnant and start Pilates, there is a deep emphasis on lower abdominal contractions and the action to use your abs “in, up, and forward”, which means pulling them and suck the abs in. The aim is to use deep abs work and to get the deeper layer of the abdominals to be activated. If you start Pilates and you are pregnant, that type of contraction and depth of connection in the core cannot be the focus—the core will more a general support and the focus will be on whole body’s strengthening. What is true is your Pilates workout will be different from traditional Pilates workout.

Wunda chair pregnancy workout

Pilates only benefit for getting back in shape after birth

One of the worst comment i can hear, it’s so reductive, there are so many benefits to regular Pilates classes when you’re expecting. What most people don’t know: it brings benefits for both : the mother and the child.

When a mother exercises frequently, her progresses benefits the foetus. Epigenetic changes are when environmental factors affect whether a gene is expressed or not. The baby has a set genome from conception, but maternal exercise (an environmental factor) seems to positively affect the baby’s cerebral and physical development. Staying in shape (especially in the core and hips) also helps the mom prepare for the actual labor and childbirth. Plus, exercise helps you feel better in your body and release stress. Deep breathing patterns we use in Pilates are a set for life and can be used for labor and delivery as a powerful tool to control your birth, and reduce pain.

Pilates is also amazingly useful for bringing body’s education and anatomy awareness. Because of it’s precise instruction toward one muscle over another, it provides to the mom-to-be, a stronger sense of body’s awareness and help women to get used to their new bodies with ease, and acceptance. Control and stabilisation helps with any aches or pains from pregnancy such as low-back or hip pain, said The mid-wife.

Pregnant women shouldn’t do any core work

“Pregnant women should not do any core work that takes them from a supine position (lying down on their back) to flexing their spine ( for example classical crunches). There’s a truth behind it that Prenatal women wants to avoid diastasis recti ‘spread out of superficial abdominals’ and intra abdominal pressures, so it’s safer to avoid any head & chest lift. However, it is actually good for women to work on stabilization of the core and pelvis’s muscles .

We can modify the supine abdominal work by changing the body position from supine to lateral work, standing, or sitting. That’s why I also love to work with full range of Pilates equipments for Prenatal workout – reformer is an amazing tool to stay strong while pregnant. Jey Pilates Instructor.

side’s muscles strengthening

The appropriate way to ‘work your core’ when you are pregnant is focusing on the transverse abdominis as opposed to the rectus abdominis. Give up doing the Series of Five, and instead focus on corseting your waist while you do standing exercises.” — DR ZU, gynaecologist.

Now don't let your prejudices stop you from being healthy and active while pregnant. At @jeydancepilates we do provide classes from 12 weeks pregnant. 
Fore more infos& bookings: please email us JEYDANCEPILATES

Prenatal Pilates : the Super method for pregnancy

Prenatal Pilates : the Super method for pregnancy

pilates prenatal pilates jeydancepilates


Prenatal pilates can make a whole difference in the way expectant mom live their motherhood, pregnancy, labor and delivery. From its extraordinary adaptability & amazing results Pilates is a method that suits pregnancy perfectly. 

I started my journey in pregnancy world as postnatal Pilates specialist and  pelvic floor Pilates sessions in Midwifery center. 

Through my experience, the more I worked on the “after” the more I discovered that  starting Pilates before was making a whole difference & avoid many post-partum issues. 

pregnant reformer
Jeydancepilates reformer prenatal pilates


What is pilates ?

Pilates is an increasingly effective form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a low impact, versatile, and super option for people wanting to improve their strength, posture, balance, flexibility and muscle tone. 

Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the lower abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, providing a ‘stable core’ that supports the back and allows efficient movement. Exercise programs can be extensively modified to focus on different body parts and accommodate individual needs.

swiss ball props prenatal pilates

How does pregnancy affect the abdominal muscles, back and pelvic floor?

During pregnancy, the abdominal (tummy) muscles are stretched to make room for the growing baby. This may weaken the muscles, particularly the deep abdominal muscles. Deep abdominal muscles are responsible for providing support to the back (working like a corset). Lack of support makes the back vulnerable to injury. This is made worse by the hormone relaxin, which is released in pregnant women to soften the ligaments and allow the pelvis to stretch during delivery. Many pregnant women experience back pain.

The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for controlling the bladder and bowel. They are weakened as they stretch and hold the weight of the growing baby.

Pregnant woman sitting on the floor with fitness ball

Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in difficulty controlling the bladder or bowel (incontinence) and can impact on sexual function.

Is Pilates useful in pregnancy?

Pilates is an ideal exercise during pregnancy as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.  These exercises can be performed in positions that are suitable for women at all stages of pregnancy, such as on hands and knees, on the side an using props and equipment. 

With the particular focus on deep muscles such as pf (pelvic floor) and transverse, as well as body’s awareness and breathing: it makes the pregnancy comfort rises up & body’s pain and discomfort ease. 

Particular breathing of Pilates which can be used either to engage subtle & deep muscles or discover relaxation and calm are essential tool for both labor & delivery. 

Such exercises  take the stress off the back and pelvic floor, and help position the baby for delivery. 

Is Pilates safe during pregnancy ? 

To exercise safely in pregnancy, you should be able to perform an effective pelvic floor and deep abdominal contraction. Very basic Pilates exercises are designed to achieve this.  This is why you need to be assessed by a Pilates instructor or physiotherapist before continuing with exercises. That’s also why i value & encourage 1-1 when no previous Pilates experience, as it leaves no room for mistakes and wrong postures. 

At jeydancepilates for Belle Maternity program we build the right protocol for your pregnancy. Doing 1-1 sessions by certified instructor with specific knowledge and do&don’t for pregnancy we ensure the safety of all clients. 

In my classes we work on reformer, chairs, and mat. I work hand on hand with physiotherapist and chiropractors to adjust and adapt to body’s changes, as well as medical referrals and midwives expertise for baby’s growth and safety.

wunda chair pilates prenatal

Main benefits Of Prenatal Pilates

  •  keep your body strong & flexible 
  • – protect your pelvic floor (during & after pregnancy ) 
  • – safe : know do & don’t exercises 
  • – adapt to body changes 
  • – breath control  : for labor & delivery
  • calm, stretch, relax : embrace your pregnancy with mindful method
  • – speed up recovery postpartum 

Info& inquiry 

-1-1 50 mins session 

_Jey’s private studio- Shanghai, China