20-minute Pilates workout

Pilates for life is one of the safest and most beneficial forms of exercise for pregnant women. And after birth it's one of the best ways to get your pre-baby body back.


Partial Roll Back
Start by sitting on the floor with knees bent, feet on the floor. Hold behind your thighs, pull your pelvic floor up and pull your lower abs in. Tuck your chin and pull lower abs further in until your rounded low back touches the floor. Then use your lower abs to bring your upper body back up to vertical position.

Sitting on Exercise Ball - gentle bouncing
Benefits of using the ball for pregnancy:

  • Maintains correct posture while exercising
  • Lessens the impact on a pregnant body
  • Works the pelvic floor
  • Safely strengthens the abdominals
  • Allows for greater mobility in the pelvic region which is beneficial for giving birth

    Post Partum:

    Always ask your doctor when it is safe for you to begin exercising after giving birth. Most doctors give their okay at six weeks postpartum. However, there are some simple muscle movements that are safe to do in the first six weeks that will make it easier for you to get back into shape when you are able to exercise.

    1 week after giving birth:

    Pelvic Floor Activation
    To activate your pelvic floor, imagine you are stopping the flow of urine. Hold muscles for 10 seconds and slowly release. Do 20 holds 5 times a day. This exercise can be done while sitting or standing-even when nursing!

    2 weeks after giving birth:

    Transverse Abdominal Exercise (Lower abdominals)
    Sitting with your back supported, place your hand on your upper and lower abdominals. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with pursed lips a couple of times, breathing slowly and deeply. Breathe out and tighten your abdominal muscles by pulling your navel toward your spine. Sit tall; do not allow your shoulders to round forward. Hold for 30 seconds or less. Repeat 10 times.

    Chest Opener
    Stand with your back against a wall, holding your abdominal muscles tight. Bring your arms up until your elbows are the same height as your shoulders. Rotate your arms to bring your hands as close to the wall as possible. Slowly, lift your arms toward your head by sliding your hands upward. Go only as far as you can without letting your back come off the wall. When you reach that point, slowly slide your arms back to the beginning position.

    3 weeks after giving birth:

    Transverse Abdominal Exercise (on all fours)
    Same technique as above, on all fours with shoulders lined up over hands and hips over knees. Keep spine still as you pull your navel to your spine.

    4 weeks after giving birth:

    Head Lifts
    Lie on your back, knees bent, squeezing a pillow or a rolled up towel between your knees. Pull navel toward spine and complete a pelvic tilt (see above). Wrap hands around upper waist; squeeze hands together as if making a corset around your middle. Slowly lift head off the ground to look at your navel. Keep shoulders on ground. Work up to 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Continue to do these exercises until your six-week check-up. After your doctor clears you for full activity, use these exercises as a warm-up routine prior to more intense activities.

    Post-Natal Pilates Exercises

    Start: Lying on your back on the floor with knees bent. Keeping pelvic floor lifted and abdominals pulled in toward spine, float one knee up until shin is parallel with ceiling. Switch legs in a slow controlled alternating movement, always keeping pelvic floor engaged and abdominals pulled in and up.

    Bent Knee Pulls
    In same start position as above, pull pelvic floor up and abdominals down. Bring chin to chest, pull one knee in toward chest and straighten other leg. On the exhalations switch positions of legs, keeping abs pulled toward spine.

    Criss Cross
    In same start position, interlace fingers and put behind neck. Lift pelvic floor up and abdominals down. Bring chin to chest, pull right knee in toward chest and straighten the left leg. Bring the left elbow to the right knee. Switch on the exhales.

    Sitting on Exercise Ball - gentle bouncing
    Benefits of using the ball postpartum:

  • Rehabilitates the core muscles
  • Addresses the pelvic floor and spine
  • Great tool for bouncing a fussy baby (see our Postpartum Rehabilitation Program)

    The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is proud to be one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with our own source of thermal mineral water, which flows from 1,100 feet directly beneath the Inn at 135 degrees. Our Spa pays homage to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations, who believed in the axiom, 'Sanitas Per Aquas', or healing through water.

    The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
    Website: www.fairmont.com
    100 Boyes Blvd.
    Sonoma, CA 95476-1447
    (707) 938-9000

    Fitness And Health:
    Fitness center and classes are complimentary to hotel guess at the resort. Open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., our fitness center features a full range of equipment - Star Trac and Cybex treadmills, Precor EFX machines, and a variety of strength equipment and free weights. Participate in a variety of fitness opportunities in our state-of-the-art exercise studio: Yoga, Body Sculpting and Body Rolling, Cardio and Non-Impact Aerobics (NIA) options, and Pilates and Meditation classes. Aquatic and Tai Chi classes are scheduled in our heated mineral pools. Join us on morning hikes or bike tours in the heart of the Sonoma Valley.

    About Jeanette Newman:
    Jeanette is a highly trained Pilates instructor who specializes in functional core strength, postural assessment, post rehabilitation therapy and Pilates for Golf. Pilates is a functional way of training that enhances the quality of everyday life by developing long muscles and core strength while increasing flexibility and balance. Having a strong core and flexible body enables one to live life with greater ease, accomplish everyday tasks with less effort, helps one excel in all athletic endeavors and reduces the chance of injury. Jeanette teaches Pilates and Pilates for Golf at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.

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