Second Trimester is usually referred to as the easiest trimester. The fluctuating hormones that leave you feeling blah in your first trimester, have stabilized a bit. Although not always, we hope your nausea and fatigue have subsided!
And since this is an exercise website, we are going to talk about the perks of exercise during the second trimester! Partway through the second trimester your blood volume (cardiac output) is up 30-40% above pre-pregnancy levels. It then plateaus for the remainder.
So what does this mean?
More blood = More oxygen to mama and baby = More endurance. Research shows an increase in V02 max during pregnancy training, which is still evident in the postpartum period. V02 measures how much oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. Does that mean go run a marathon? No, but it does mean during the second trimester you might be able to walk/jog/jump more. Although you should never get to the point of exhaustion or fatigue.
Each trimester, the way the body, especially the circulatory and respiratory systems, reacts to exercise is different, which is why you should make modifications as pregnancy progresses. Second trimester exercises should not be done lying on your back or positions that have you motionless for too long.
Early in your second trimester your belly might or might not be in the way, so modify accordingly. Workouts like running and jumping might not be comfortable towards the end of your 2nd trimester. And you will want to adapt. We have pregnancy workouts – check those out here.
Now is a good time for core exercises that engage your transverse abdominis and pelvic floor. We do a lot of these in our postnatal workouts, but making sure you core is engaged during pregnancy is so important. In fact core exercise (abdominals and back) is recommended in the research. Watch this 3 minute video on our core foundation exercises.
Second trimester workouts are great. You probably have the energy to get through 20-30 minute workouts almost everyday. One key recommendation, in addition to all the Pregnancy Do’s & Don’ts , is that you eat a snack with carbs, protein and a little good fat within the hour of exercise.
During the first trimester you should gain anywhere during 2-6 pounds. But in the second trimester you should be adding extra calories and gaining weight consistently. For the full 411 on Pregnancy weight gain and nutrition, grab our Prenatal & Postnatal Starter Pack.