Continue Power Yoga and Pilates While Pregnant with Twins?

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
I have just found out I am pregnant (maybe with twins!). I regularly participate in power yoga and pilates classes. How long in my pregnancy can I continue with pilates and power yoga (my gym does not offer pre-natal equivalent classes)?

ANSWER

Hello,
Twins! Double the pleasure, not the workout or food! Congrats! And, yes, you will want to be in shape for those babies. As a regular yoga and pilates student, you may certainly continue your exercise program -- with a few rules:

  • You must get a thumbs-up from your OB/GYN. Be sure that s/he knows exactly what your exercise routine is and your current health statistics.
  • Remember that as your pregnancy progresses, your body composition will change -- ligaments and pelvic joints are stretching and loosening in preparation for child birth. This is NOT a time to stretch to the extreme.
  • As your yoga instructor coos, "No pain, no gain..." you can happily beg off. Thousands of studies have been conducted on female athletes during their pregnancy and found that yoga/stretching routines are most beneficial to labor and delivery, including a faster recovery after baby -- in your case babies -- are born. But, because your joints do loosen, do not press yourself too hard.

Enjoy the exercise, stay limber, stretch those muscles (yes, you can feel the burn) but within reason. You have been doing yoga long enough, you know what feels good and what doesn't. Be sure to talk to your instructor and makes sure s/he is qualified to instruct pregnant athletes. Finally, enjoy. This may be the last time you get to work out in peace and quiet for a while!

-- Alex

Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.

Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!