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Antenatal Pilates


While Pilates can be applied to a wide range of circumstances, it is particularly beneficial in pregnancy, when the body is preparing for birth and beyond, during which time it is constantly evolving and trying to cope with all the change. Prospective clients who have not previously undertaken ongoing Pilates with PilatesMan will need to wait until 16 weeks before joining the class, but may book a client assessment to learn the main principles, discuss any difficulties and gain some very useful tips that may prove invaluable in the coming weeks.

Antenatal Pilates is so effective because the most appropriate, safe and beneficial elements of Joseph Pilates' original discipline have been selected and honed accordingly in order to aid awareness and understanding of the pregnant body and its capabilities. The aim is to not only aid posture and strength during pregnancy but to prepare the mind and body for labour and the postpartum months. The work done in the build-up to the birth will have far-reaching effects and benefits, which is why it is so vital.


Some benefits of Antenatal Pilates include:

– Preparing your pelvic floor for control during the birth and prevention of stress and urge incontinence

– The promotion of improvements in posture in order to reduce general aches and pains

– The improvement of core stability, co-ordination and balance as your pregnancy develops

– Awareness of your breathing in order to control pain during labour and delivery

– The maintaining of abdominal function and correction of diastasis recti pathology (separation of the rectus abdominus or abdominal muscles as your pregnancy develops)

– The improvement of posture, allowing the baby (or babies) room to move into optimum foetal position

– Helping to prevent specific joint problems particularly in the region of the pelvis, caused by loose ligaments

– Helping to restore your figure after the birth of your child (or children)

– Strengthening useful muscles for birthing positions allowing you to feel fit for labour and delivery

– A greater understanding and awareness of your body and movement in relation to your pregnancy

– Time to prepare mentally and physically for labour and delivery, building confidence in your ability to cope with the demands of pregnancy, birth and motherhood
If you have any further questions regarding exercise antenatally, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


  •   “I have been taking Pilates classes with Charlie for a year and a half now. I started with private classes when I was just a few months pregnant. I wanted to do some safe exercises that would help me stay in shape during my pregnancy and make my return to exercise easier after the birth. I was terrified of labour and heard that Pilates would help in many ways, which is why I thought I would give it a try.

    I always felt that the exercises were safe and appropriate for the various stages of my pregnancy. I kept up with the sessions until I was 39 weeks pregnant!

    I had an incredibly smooth labour, which I believe was partly due to having undertaken antenatal Pilates. I also believe that Charlie's antenatal classes helped me relax more during my pregnancy.

    I joined postnatal group classes when my little baby girl was 8 weeks and I am currently doing the weekly Improver/Intermediate class that Charlie holds on a Saturday. Having a strong core is essential when constantly having to pick up a baby, and I am trying to prevent any back problems and improve my posture. The Saturday sessions are definitely helping.

    Charlie is a good, friendly instructor, he is relaxed and takes time to explain various exercises and is also specific. He has a good sense of humour too – which is necessary given how many times he has to repeat himself for me! Charlie is very knowledgeable and passionate about Pilates. I would definitely recommend him!”

    Abbey, Hanwell

  •   “I decided to start antenatal Pilates when I was around 16 weeks pregnant with twins. At this stage of my pregnancy I was starting to get bigger and subsequently feeling a few aches and pains that I didn't want to get worse! Also, I had heard that Pilates can contribute to an easier labour and swifter recovery, two things I was certainly keen to achieve! And I wasn't disappointed. I delivered my two girls naturally, without complication and felt like I was returning to my ‘normal self’ within days of giving birth. It would be hard to say that it was all down to Pilates of course, but I'm convinced it had a huge impact.

    I decided to follow on to postnatal Pilates soon after the girls arrived. Charlie structured these classes brilliantly, starting with low level exercises and slowly building the intensity in each session, meaning a smooth and gradual transition from ‘beginner’ to ‘intermediate’, and as my level of skill improves so does my strength and posture. Pilates is certainly something I want as a staple in my life going forward; it's great for the body, mind and soul. 

    Charlie is an excellent instructor with a vast knowledge of Pilates and its effect/benefit to the anatomy. He creates a calm, relaxed environment and has incredible patience making my experience of Pilates a wholly pleasurable one.”

    Sam, Hanwell


    “Pre-pregnancy I had attended a few Pilates classes at a local gym along with 20-30 other women and I admit I never really 'got' it. I have been attending classes with Charlie for almost three months now and it is a completely different experience. Thanks to the smaller classes and the more personal attention I finally understand why Pilates works. I am now much more aware of my body alignment and how to protect my back, which is really important when carrying a baby around all the time!”

    Stacy, Northfields


    “Charlie Kelly, aka PilatesMan, is your secret weapon to getting your body prepped for labour and beyond. His antenatal classes worked wonders for my overall body conditioning and wellbeing. You must book for his postnatal classes too as these have helped retrain my core and support both my spine and pelvis but most importantly recover my pre-baby body!” 

    Nina, Northfields


    “Charlie is a fantastic Pilates instructor – fun and friendly yet professional. The classes are quite small, which means that Charlie is able to give individual feedback so that everybody is working to the level that is right for them. Charlie has an excellent understanding of biomechanics and works with each person to make subtle adjustments to their posture during the exercises; this ensures that you exercise safely and achieve the best results and also that when you repeat the exercise you are able to position yourself correctly. I work as an osteopath and have often suggested that patients attend a Pilates class as an aid to recovery from an injury or more generally to prevent injuries that arise through habitual activities. I attended Charlie’s ante- and postnatal classes and found them to be really helpful with managing the stresses and strains of pregnancy and looking after small children, but would really recommend anyone to give it a go.”

    Hazel, Hanwell

  •   I started Pilates classes with Charlie in February 2014, attending a weekly class as often as possible. Charlie has been an excellent teacher as his easy going, friendly personality creates a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. There is no cheating or short cuts around Charlie, he places a high value on correct form, paying close attention in sessions making sure we are doing the the exercises correctly.

    I still have a LOT to learn but because of his efforts I feel I am stronger (having had a baby recently) and closer to achieving my goals.

    I would recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a go!"

    Angelina, Brentford