New Antenatal Pilates Classes

What is Antenatal Pilates?

Antenatal Pilates is specifically designed for individuals during and after pregnancy. Both Pre- and Post- Natal Pilates follow the same concepts and principles of traditional Pilates but include modified exercises to ensure they are safe and effective for pregnant and new mums. Antenatal Pilates strengthens the entire body, focusing on the core and pelvic floor specifically for pregnant and new mums.

I am pregnant is Pilates for me?

If you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, then Pilates may be for you. If you have complications, please check with your midwife or GP first.

My Pregnancy Pilates classes are safe to attend up to 6-8 weeks before your babies due date. It is safe for you as an expectant mother to join at any time during your pregnancy up to this date, providing you are fit and healthy, with an uncomplicated pregnancy. It is advisable to not start any exercise after your halfway point of pregnancy if you have not previously been exercising in the earlier trimesters. As by this point in your pregnancy it may be too challenging to join a class depending on your fitness, tiredness and bump size. If you are unsure whether you will be suitable for a class please use the contact form and I will get back to you within 24 hours.

What Pilates benefits can I expect during pregnancy?

  • Pilates will help strengthen your core, back and pelvic floor.
  • Improved breathing control throughout pregnancy and labour
  • Reduced back pain from posture changes
  • Stronger muscles to aid lifting and bending once the baby is born
  • Improved balance
  • Relax
  • Improved mobility of joints
  • Improved labour due to increased strength of the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor
  • Self-esteem & confidence
  • Improved wellbeing
  • Body awareness

I have just had my baby, how soon can I return to Pilates?

Congratulations! It is important not to rush this process as you will end up delaying the recovery in the long-term. Always check with your GP and midwife, generally if you have had an uncomplicated vaginal birth you can return to gentle post-natal specific exercise after your post-natal check up. This is around 6-8 weeks post-birth. If you had a C-section the wait is a little longer ranging from 8-12 weeks and sometimes longer due to the nature of your labour and birth.

What Pilates benefits can I expect after my pregnancy?

  • Safe recovery of vulnerable, weakened and strained abdominal and pelvic floor muscles helping you return to normal.
  • Stress management and minimising the onset of post-natal depression
  • Improved wellbeing
  • Confidence
  • Improves Diastasis Recti
  • Social interaction with other new mums

How do I get involved?

I teach the Antenatal Pilates classes every Monday at You Massage Therapy. Each class has a maximum of 6 participants to ensure optimum supervision and a safe and effective class for everyone. Booking is essential due to limited places, if you would like to book on to these classes please call You Massage Therapy reception on 023 8063 9747, who will be happy to arrange this for you. Your first class is just £5 as a taster, thereafter it is £12 pay as you go rate or £40 for a block of 4 class.

You Massage is currently running an offer whereby if you purchase 12 classes you pay just £9 per class, so £108. This can be used in Prenatal Pilates, Pregnancy Yoga & Postnatal Pilates.

Alternatively if you would prefer a 1-to-1 this is available at my ERSP clinic in Bitterne, Southampton for £35 per hour session.


Pre-Natal Pilates –  Mondays 7:00-8:00 PM

Post-Natal Pilates – Mondays 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Private Pregnancy Pilates Session (1-to-1) at ERSP, Bitterne – Available Thursday to Saturday


Beginner Scissors Exercise

Remember before you begin any exercise on your back always ensure your back is slightly imprinted on the mat to protect your lumbar spine (lower back), remember to compress the imaginary bubble under your back but not too much you’d pop it.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor hip distance apart.
  2. Inhale, and lift your left leg to tabletop position – your knee should be parallel with your hip, creating a right angle at the knee.
  3. Exhale, maintaining your knee at 90 degrees tap your toe/heel as if dipping into a pot of paint. It is really important the knee maintains at 90 degrees so you work your hip joint and not your knee.
  4. Inhale and return the leg to tabletop.
  5. Then repeat with the other leg.
  6. Sticking to one at a time.

If you are comfortable with one leg you can try alternating with both legs at tabletop. Only progress if your tummy remains flat and doesn’t dome and your back remains with a slight imprint and doesn’t arch off the mat! If your tummy domes or your back arches then you need to continue with just one leg until you gain more core strength to be able to safely progress to two legs.

For beginners repeat this 5 times, as you progress you can move up to 8 reps.

Perfect for working your Rectus Abdominis and Hip Flexors.

4-Point Kneeling – Knee Raises


  1. In a 4 point kneeling position ensuring your wrists are under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Maintaining a neutral spine and your body weight centred.
  2. Breathe in to prepare and exhale as you lift the knees a tiny bit of the floor.
  3. Inhale and lower your knees.
  4. Start with 5 repetitions, to begin with.

Gradually over the weeks increase this motion always maintaining a neutral spine and bracing your core.

Remember this is an abdominal exercise so you should never feel this in your back.

Use a mirror to check your position is safe and effective.