Preparing for Birth with Exercise

When you’re getting into your third trimester, you’re probably starting to get a little bit uncomfortable. Movements and workouts that you’ve been able to do throughout pregnancy don’t feel good anymore. You may be starting to wonder if you should continue exercising at all! Let’s take a quick look at exercise in your third trimester of pregnancy.

1. You Don’t Have to Stop

Barring any kind of complications or instructions from your doctor, you don’t have to stop exercise during your third trimester unless you want to.

2. You Should Scale Back

Although you don’t have to stop exercise completely, I almost always recommend scaling your exercise way back. You don’t need to be doing max lifts or really long cardio sessions during this time. Your body has gone through and is going through a lot as you get closer to your delivery date and you want to help accommodate those changes as much as you can.

3. Strengthen Your Birthing Muscles

Squats, core work and breath work are just a few examples of exercises that will prepare you for birth. Deep squats especially can help to open up your hips and pelvic floor muscles to prepare them for the work they need to do. Transverse Abdominal (TVA) work will strengthen those core muscles to help you push. And good breathing techniques will give you a solid foundation to come back to during labor and delivery.

4. Take it Easy on the Pelvic Floor Muscles

The third trimester is when we really want to eliminate any high impact movements or exercise that puts a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. They are already supporting an almost full-term baby, so putting any undue stress on them should be avoided at this point. Try to stick with low impact workouts during this last part of your pregnancy.

5. Do What Feels Good

If walking feels good, then walk. If swimming feels good, then swim. If light free weights feel good, then lift some weights. Mostly, you just want to keep your body moving and active, so that you’re ready for birth and postpartum.

If you aren’t used to exercise and you just started during pregnancy, it can be a strange thing to deal with as you enter the third trimester. On the other hand, if you’re an avid fitness fan, you might struggle to scale back when you get into the third trimester and know you should.

If you aren’t sure what to do, make sure you stay tuned this week for some great third trimester workouts!

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