Soooo many women panic when they become pregnant and think ; "Oh my god! I am so out of shape and I will be even worse after the birth of my baby". Beware, now is NOT the time to start a strenuous exercise regime.
But Pilates modified for pregnancy can be excellent for you. Of course anybody who haven't worked out before pregnancy, should take it extra easy.
Exercising at low intensity is not "dangerous", it will benefit both you and your baby. All considering you have a normal, no complications pregnancy.
When pregnant you can workout your whole body but focus more on; pelvic muscles, back, butt, arms and legs and your breathing. These are areas that you need to be as strong and balanced as you can in, when it's time for birth. Healing stretches should start and end your session. Be careful not to overstretch, as hormones in your body loosens up ligaments and makes you more "flexible" and prone to injuring your joints.
I did a lot of standing towel work (Ron Fletcher®) when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, and it was great. You really need to be able to carry your baby around after birth, using the right set of muscles. I am still carrying her around of course, even though now she is a heavy 2 year old.
In exercising Pilates, you access and engage your transversus abdominus, a muscle especially important during pregnancy and birth. Best of course if you already done Pilates before becoming pregnant, then you will have already awaken your TA.
If you have Pilates in your body before becoming pregnant your belly will go back to it's "normal" state much faster. I can attest to this, since I was pregnant and had my first child without Pilates and a second child with Pilates. And what a difference. Really. Huge difference in the whole experience, being able to carry the belly, the second birth was soo easy (well that's a whole other blog entry right there), and after birth.
Also, it may reduce your risk of getting the black line down the middle of the abdomen (distasis recti), which is when your muscles separates when the fetus grows and the belly too.
If you have done a lot of Pilates before pregnancy, you should be able to, if everything feels good, continue as "usual" in the first trimester. I took mat class as normal, and did sessions on the equipment as well.
Of course, you must consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program while pregnant, I don't claim to know more than a Doctor .
Do listen to your body and be aware of warning signals like pain, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, feeling faint, bleeding and high blood pressure .
You should try to find a good Pilates instructor, that is willing to put together a special pregnancy plan for you. I find it really makes a difference, if you can find somebody to train you, who have themselves been pregnant and given birth. It's just the kind of thing you can't read about and understand.
Congratulations to your growing belly and the baby inside!