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Pilates uses resistance training and a rotation of 500 exercises to work the body's midsection, improve muscle tone, balance, coordination, posture, and mental focus.

I am 7 months pregnant. Can I take a Pilates class?

Natalie Neckyfarow (New York, NY) on Mar 23, 2012
Beyond the first trimester of pregnancy, lying on your back and stomach is not advised. Because 90% of a Pilates mat class is done lying down either on your stomach or back, it would not be appropriate for you to take a Pilates mat class at 7 months. There are many Pilates-based exercises you could do under the supervision of a private instructor. A postnatal Pilates mat or reformer class would also be appropriate. Pilates can help you strengthen your pelvic floor, maintain the elasticity of your abdominals, and ease both birth and recovery afterwards. Be sure to get the clearance of your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially at this stage.
Halle Clarke (New York, NY) on Mar 23, 2012
Not only is Pilates safe for pregnant women, it is highly recommended. Pilates is the only body conditioning method that specifically focuses on core awareness. Attention to core musculature during pregnancy can translate into a more comfortable pregnancy, an easier labor and a faster recovery. Of course the standard contraindications for each trimester would apply.
Lynda Lippin (New York, NY) on Mar 23, 2012
In general, physicians advise that you not start new activities in your third trimester. That said, if you are already exercising and want to try Pilates you need to take a specific prenatal class or a private with someone who understands your body. You cannot do abdominal crunches, lie on your back for long periods, or lie on your stomach. And these are the main positions of basic Pilates mat exercises!
Gloria Garwood (Indianapolis, IN) on Mar 23, 2012
Avoid all positions that require you to lie on your back because they restrict blood flow to your baby.
Maytal Rozensher (Sant Monica, CA) on Mar 23, 2012
Like all exercises there are always risks involved in any activity. Unlike other activities, however, Pilates works very deeply so if you were not an avid Pilates student before your pregnancy, it may be best to wait a few months after giving birth to start this form of exercise. Once you decide to start taking Pilates sessions, make sure you do your research. There are many types of Pilates that exist, so learn about your instructor's education. In my experience, the best are those with a direct Romanas Pilates certification.
Nicola Yvette (New York, NY) on Mar 23, 2012
Lying on your back during the third trimester becomes an issue in Pilates, and many teachers place you standing or sitting during the majority of the session. You need to keep sitting up because of the pressure on the organs. However, doing Pilates during pregnancy is wonderful for you. You strengthen your abdominals and pelvic floo,r making for an easier childbirth and postpartum recovery time.