Pilates for Pregnancy and Beyond

Pilates for Pregnancy and Beyond

Hey new mums, mums-to-be or experienced mums…Pilates if you please, and here’s why :


The postpartum period is so rewarding yet so exhausting. You’ve brought your little bundle of joy into the world and they mean everything to you. A mother’s love for their child is like no other, and it goes without saying that mums will always put their little ones first… but what about yourself, mum, what about your health and wellbeing.   

Pregnancy, the birth and motherhood what a magical, incredible journey. One in which our body adapts and changes to the needs of our baby. We experience physical changes to our muscles and joints, a shift in hormones, and the beginning of a new and unfamiliar environment of raising a child.  

Motherhood can feel like a big cocktail mix of emotions. From glowing love and happiness, to fatigue, stress and anxiety. If you’ve ever woken from a rough night and felt like you’ve been hit by a bus, you’re not alone!   

But hear me out…what if I told you there is evidence to support the use of exercise to help you tackle fatigue, aches and pains, and improve your mental health all whilst strengthening your body? The secret…Pilates.  


But why Pilates?  


Research tells us that mums are most likely to partake in exercise if it is easily accessible, efficient and feasible…and so voila, Pilates. 

Pilates is a great way to ease back into exercise, helping you regain strength and connection with your body. Pilates is versatile and targeted, exercises can vary based on your strength and is safe for any fitness level.  

The exercises provide strength and stability to the muscles of your core, glutes and pelvic stabilisers, all of which are important in supporting a busy mum.   

The physical benefits may seem relatively obvious, but there is much more to love about Pilates.  


What are the benefits?   


Battle fatigue & improve mental health:

I know, at times, it can feel like you have little energy to even bring yourself to get up in the morning, let alone do exercise, but I can reassure you, the experts have spoken, Pilates in all its glory has been proven to reduce postpartum fatigue. And history will tell us that both fatigue and depression are strongly linked, and therefore we can confidently say that practising pilates will not only assist in giving you that burst of energy you need, but it will leave you feeling happier, and healthier in your mind, body and soul.  


Improved sleep quality :

That dreaded word…sleep. You haven't experienced parenthood if you aren’t critically analysing sleep and how you can get more of it. From white noise, to black out blinds, parents will do anything to get another minute of shut eye. And so what if I told you, Pilates can improve your sleep quality. The research states that after birth our sleep patterns change which can lead to mood swings, fatigue, reduced motherly bond and risk of depression. If doing Pilates can reduce your risk, whilst improving your sleep, you’d be silly not to give it a go.  


Improved strength, flexibility & mobility, while reducing muscle & joint aches and pain:

Pilates exercises are designed to target and isolate specific muscles to promote connection and strength. In particular, muscles of the pelvic floor, core and pelvic stabilisers, which are increasingly important for our post partum mums. Pilates addresses spinal control and posture, to help you feel confident and strong whilst going about your daily routine. Pilates has been proven to reduce muscle aches and joint pain, allowing you to move your body freely.  

So mums…Pilates. What more can I say, the verdict is out, it’s the easiest way. It’ll help you remain sane, in touch with your body and feel somewhat human, as you navigate through your journey that is motherhood.  


Written by Jessica Anwyl 

  • Physiotherapist 
  • Clinical Pilates Instructor 
  • B. Health Sciences / M. of Physiotherapy Practice 
  • Specialist in Sports & Pre/Post natal care 


  • Ashrafinia, F., Mirmohammadali, M., Rajabi, H., Kazemnejad, A., Sadeghniiat Haghighi, K., & Amelvalizadeh, M. (2015). Effect of Pilates exercises on postpartum maternal fatigue. Singapore medical journal, 56(3), 169–173.  
  • Argaheni, N. B. (2021). A Systematic Review: The Effects Of Pilates Exercise On Sleep Quality In Postpartum Women. Jurnal Kebidanan Midwiferia, 7(1), 16-26. 
  • Ashrafinia, F., Mirmohammadali, M., Rajabi, H., Kazemnejad, A., Sadeghniiat Haghighi, K., Amelvalizadeh, M., & Chen, H. (2014). The effects of Pilates exercise on sleep quality in postpartum women. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 18(2), 190-199. 
  • Franks, J., Thwaites, C., Morris, ME. (2023). Pilates to Improve Core Muscle Activation in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review. Healthcare (Basel), 11(10), 1404.  
  • Fleming, KM., & Herring, PM. (2018). The effects of pilates on mental health outcomes: A meta-analysis of controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 37, 80-95.