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.
Third Trimester Exercise
Relaxin, the hormone that let’s your pelvis and rib cage expand to fit your baby, has also created loose joint stability. This creates more flexibility, but it also creates an environment for injury if you are not careful. All the postural changes are probably altering your sense of balance. You tend to “waddle” as you walk. This is because your gait (the way you move) is changing to adapt to the extra 20-35 lbs.
But even with all of these changes – if you worked out through entire pregnancy – you do not need to decrease intensity during the third trimester.
Keep in mind what was easy in your 2nd trimester might not be in your 3rd trimester. And you probably no longer need heavy weight to do lower body exercises, since you are carrying your own “weight” in your belly!
Exercise during late pregnancy may not comfortable. Listening to your body and doctor is essential. Don’t get overtired, don’t continue if you feel lack of coordination or discomfort, don’t forget adequate fluid and rest, and don’t forget a thorough warm up & cool down.
Keep you and your baby safe during the third trimester by following our Pregnancy Exercise Do’s & Don’ts and get the ok from your doctor.
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 + postnatal tips, download our Prenatal & Postnatal Starter Pack.
Diastasis Recti: An abdominal separation, otherwise known as diastasis recti, occurs in about 1/3 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. We have lots of pregnancy workouts for each trimester, including cardio, barefoot, core, full body and more. Check those out here.