Now, let’s talk about guidelines for pregnancy exercise in your third trimester. I did the Pre-Mama Plan right through my third trimester. It was great to feel in control of something and I highly valued the ‘me’ time in a time where my body and life were changing in ways that they never had done before.
Now for the guidelines for fitness in your third trimester:
- Do listen to your body: It is more important than ever to to listen to your body. Rest up when needed but when you feel up to it you can still be active. If something doesn’t feel right, whether its mid workout or just going about your daily business, stop and get things checked out.
- Do chat with your doc: If you are experiencing any of these problems or have any other concerns in relation to exercising while pregnant, speak to your midwife or consultant. This along with the previous guideline are the most important guidelines related to exercising while pregnant.
- Avoid the supine position for prolonged periods: Hopefully you have been avoiding this since your second trimester but its still as important as ever. Avoid exercising while lying on your back to prevent the baby’s weight from compressing the vena cava, the main vein that returns blood to the heart. If you wake up on your back it isn’t anything to be worried about (our bodies are very clever and will wake us up before any harm is done), but where possible try to avoid spending extended period of time on your back from the second trimester.
- Avoid exercises that involve your oblique: This can put added strain on your abs and may lead to diastasis recti (abdominal separation).
- Refrain from high impact exercises and abrupt movements: Avoid high-impact activities that might put too much stress on your knees and hips and pelvic floor. Opt for low impact activities such as star steps or swimming.
- Prioritise mindful breathing and activating your core muscles: Take a deep breath in and on the exhale make a ‘ssss’ sound and feel your core muscles engage.
- Consider pregnancy yoga: Time to channel your inner yogi! Pregnancy yoga is not only a gentle way to build strength and flexibility but also to meet other people and build a bit of a community for mat leave. So grab that yoga mat and let the zen vibes flow.
- Do increase those steps: You don’t need a treadmill to get moving. Lace up those comfy trainers, pop on your favourite podcast and hit the streets! Walking is a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints and perfect for maintaining that pregnancy glow. Plus, it’s a great excuse to explore your neighbourhood.
- Do bodyweight exercises to strengthen your core: Now is a great time to build up strength in your core. You can make up your own core workout with exercises such as standing crunches, plank and lunges or check out this workout which is safe for the second trimester.
- Consider swimming regularly: Show off your bump in a bikini and jump into the pool! Swimming is a fantastic way to stay active without putting too much strain on your joints plus you can close your eyes and pretend you are on holiday, floating in an infinity pool in the Caribbean… bliss!
- Do pelvic floor strengthening exercises: Boost pelvic muscle resilience with daily exercises. Do 10 kegels, three times a day to combat the extra weight on your pelvic floor muscles later in pregnancy. I like to do them when I’m brushing my teeth morning and night and as part of my daily exercise.
- Do focus on hydration: Sip, sip, hooray! Staying hydrated is crucial during pregnancy. It helps regulate body temperature, supports the baby’s development, and keeps you feeling more energized. So keep that water bottle close – your body and your baby will thank you.
- Snack smart: When the hunger pangs strike, snack like a pro. Where possible opt for nutrient-dense goodies like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These snacks will keep your energy levels stable and help you power through your workouts. That said, do listen to your body, my body ‘needed’ jelly tots by the share bag in my first trimester 🤩
Remember, this journey is all about you and your baby and these guidelines are here to keep you both safe while exercising. So let’s make this trimester a fit and fabulous one. Cheers (with some a hydrating glass of iced water!) to the glow, the grow, and the incredible adventure ahead! 💪🤰