Whew, mama! I am now nearing the END of the 3rd trimester. I’m 37+ weeks pregnant at this point. How did this happen? 😉
Throughout the 3rd trimester I’ve been experiencing some definite changes.
First, I’ve really been feeling growth spurt weeks. For about a week at a time I’ll be extremely nauseous, tired, HUNGRY, and feel like this baby doubles in size.
I mean, seriously, eating every 90 minutes is where we’re at right now, ha!
It lasts for about a week/10 days at a time and then seems to settle slightly for about a week/10 days, and then ramps back up again!
Today = it’s 9am. I’ve been up since 6am and I’ve eaten 2 big squares of “jello” (homemade with juice, raw honey, and Vital Proteins gelatin), 2 pieces of toast with lotsa butter, and about a cup of plain greek yogurt.
And, I’m starving. I just finished the greek yogurt an hour ago. Smoothie coming up next.
I vaguely remember the days when I used to eat 3x per day 😉 No complaints here, though.
But, let’s get back to the exercise! My exercise routine has been super consistent over this whole pregnancy.
I’m really feeling the differences in my pelvis and how #bmg is sitting. More pressure in my symphysis pubis – not pain, luckily. But, things are moving on down!
My exercise plan throughout the 3rd trimester has had 3 main components:
• Strength training workouts 3x per week: I use an A/B/A format, meaning I rotate through 2 different strength training workouts for 4 weeks at a time, and then progress.
I love this. I don’t have to think too hard. I get to really drill the technique and form. I get to increase or decrease the resistance/weight as my body changes.
• Birth prep exercises 4x per week: I do a mini circuit of core training exercises. I do these at least 4x per week, usually once or twice more. I use them as the warmup to my strength training workouts.
Myself + the gals in my coaching program To Pregnancy & Beyond start this program at 29 weeks pregnant, to keep the pelvis symmetrical and baby in good position.
• Leisurely walking: I’m walking often. My walks are starting to reduce in time, because I’m feeling more pressure in my pelvis as baby gets bigger.
At this point I’m walking mostly on days that I’m not strength training, for about 30-40 minutes.
Here are my Top 3 Tips for Exercising in the 3rd Trimester:
1). Easy on the Lower Body Loading
I’ve been cautious regarding how heavy I’ve been loading lower body exercises during the entire 3rd trimester.
Here’s the thing: not only am I training for THIS postpartum recovery but for any future ones as well.
The pelvic floor and the core are super important parts of the body. I don’t like to take my chances on increasing the stress to them, when they’re already experiencing a great deal of stress (NOTE: EVEN if it doesn’t feel like it, mama’s!).
This is about as heavy as I’ve been loading any lower body exercises these days (and for the remainder of pregnancy I won’t be loading any lower body exercise with weights):
–> Example #1: Offset DB Front Squat
Could I lift heavier than this? Yes. Will I? No.
Another example of a lower body exercise I’ve been using a ton during the 3rd trimester is:
–> Example #2: Standing Reverse Hypers
Fantastic for glutes and hamstring strength, and hip stability. So important right now!
2). Pay Attention to Your Pelvis
I’ve really noticed a difference in the pressure in my pelvis over the last week. No pain, but I can certainly feel that baby is shifting and moving downwards.
AGAIN – we do not need to increase stress to the pelvis, pelvic floor, and pelvic organs.
HOW do women keep lifting heavy and doing higher impact exercise at this point in pregnancy?! Wahhhhh.
3). Get Super Sticky on Your Alignment
First, we need to watch this in daily life. How are you sitting on the couch, sleeping, carrying your toddlers, etc?
Some cues to remind you of:
- Bum untucked
- Keep your bum behind you
- Ribs over hips
We also need to keep these tips in mind during exercise. Now, remember – this goes for any body position: seated, standing, side lying, etc.
–> Example #1: Seated Cable Row
–> Example #2: Alternating Biceps Curls
Pay attention to the sensations in your body and remember to balance the physical activity time with rest time, especially in your 3rd trimester!