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Prenatal Series: Fitness in the Second Trimester

In this series, Merrithew® Master Instructor Trainer Laureen Dubeau delves into STOTT PILATES® for prenatal clients.

By the beginning of the second trimester (14 – 26 weeks) morning sickness should have subsided and energy levels may be returning to normal. It is during this time when physical changes are becoming more apparent. Centre of gravity is shifting, the abdomen is getting noticeably larger, breasts are larger. As a result, standing posture will change putting more stress on the upper back, lower back and hip joints. Exercise programming will need to be adjusted at this stage.


  • No exercises in the prone (on the stomach) position
  • No exercises in the supine (lying on the back), or inverted (hips higher than shoulders) position after 20 weeks (the inferior vena cava which transports blood back to the heart may be compressed by the growing fetus)
  • Exercises can be performed with the shoulders elevated above the hips, sitting, standing, kneeling, side-lying or quadruped (hands and knees)
  • Although energy levels may be up, avoid working too hard and diverting oxygen and nutrients away from the baby
  • Exercises should continue to focus on strength and stability rather than increasing mobility

Exercise: Side-lying Bend & Stretch with Flex-Band®

Starting Position: 
Lying on one side, bottom arm bent and supporting head, bottom knee bent


  • Breathe in and pull the knee in toward the chest rounding the back, breathe out and lengthen the spine back to a neutral alignment while pushing into the heel and straightening the leg
  • Repeat 10 – 12 times on each leg 

Additional Exercise Options
Hip Release Resting on Elbows, Saw, Hundred Kneeling

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