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Third Trimester Exercise

Meeting your baby is right around the corner! Usually you enter your third trimester with a good amount of energy. But as your baby grows from the size of a large eggplant to a small pumpkin or watermelon, you will start to feel more tired. And you will probably start feeling some new aches and pains.

Exercise can help with energy, back pain and swelling!  You will want to adapt your exercise routine to third trimester exercises specific to your growing bump and changing center of gravity.

Relaxin, the hormone that allows your pelvis and rib cage to expand to fit your growing baby, also creates loose joints, as well as instability. The loose joints allow for more flexibility, but they also may harbor an environment for injury if you are not careful. You might also discover that all the postural changes that accompany pregnancy are probably altering your sense of balance. As your belly grows, you may find yourself tending to “waddle” as you walk. This is because your gait (the way you move) is changing to adapt to the extra 20-35 pounds of pregnancy-related weight gain.

But even with all of these changes, you do not need to decrease intensity of exercise during the third trimester, if you worked out through entire pregnancy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that those things that were easy in your second trimester might not be in your third trimester. You probably no longer need to life heavy weights to do lower body exercises, since you are carrying your own “weight” in your belly!

Another thing to keep in mind is that exercise during late-pregnancy may not be very comfortable. Hence, listening to your body and your doctor is now more essential than ever. Remember the Pregnancy-Exercise Don’ts – Don’t get overtired, Don’t continue if you feel a lack of coordination or discomfort, Don’t forget adequate fluid and rest, and Don’t forget a thorough warm up & cool down – and you should find that exercising during late-pregnancy is not only beneficial, but also quite enjoyable.

Keep you and your baby safe during the third trimester by following our Pregnancy Exercise Do’s & Don’ts and get the okay from your doctor.

Nutrition Needs

During the second and third trimesters expect weight gain to be approximately 1/2 – 1 pound per week. The best way to know you are doing the proper amount of exercise and nutrition is by monitoring your weight gain. You also need to be adding a snack of protein, carbs and a little fat within the hour of exercise. For a complete prenatal nutrition breakdown try our Recipe Box with pregnancy & breastfeeding plans (free!)

Pregnancy Conditions

Diastasis Recti An abdominal separation, otherwise known as diastasis recti, occurs in about 1/3-2/3 of pregnancies.  Usually this condition occurs later in pregnancy as your baby grows, or if you are carrying multiples.  It’s important you don’t do traditional core exercises during pregnancy.

Back Pain 50% of low back pain in pregnant women is due to lumbar lordosis, otherwise known as swayback. As you move into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the abdominal muscles are stretched and lose their ability to effectively maintain neutral posture. 

Pelvic Pain It is important that you know the difference between the pelvic pain, pressure and dysfunction. Pubic pain or pelvic pain, is common later in pregnancy. It can hinder the way you walk and exercise.

Overall a program with strength training, aerobic exercise and stretching is ideal for pregnancy.  Don’t overdo it. You might feel frustrated by some of the limitations that pregnancy places on your agility. For example, weight gain and laxity in ligaments and joints reduce your running speed. The weight in pregnancy increases the force on your hips and knees.  Workouts like running and jumping might not be comfortable. And you will want to adapt. Follow our pregnancy workouts for all of these adaptations.

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