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KEY CONSIDERATIONS FOR EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY

A few important things to keep in mind during this ever-changing time!

    As you progress in your pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released. Good news - this makes it easier for baby to fit through your pelvis during delivery! Not-so-great news, this can make the last few months of pregnancy more uncomfortable as your body becomes increasingly hypermobile. Strength training 3-4x/week can really help to alleviate some of this discomfort by helping to maintain stability and muscular support - especially if you have been consistently exercising throughout your pregnancy.  

    Generally, you should avoid picking up new exercises / activities when pregnant. Ex: don’t pick up running if you haven’t been running already. However, if you have been primarily sedentary prior to becoming pregnant, now is a good time to start some gentle, low impact activities (think walking, rather than running). 

    Make sure that you are always able to carry on a conversation while exercising when pregnant! If you are so out of breath that you can’t talk, your body is in “fight or flight mode” and your blood (and oxygen) supply is getting shunted to your vital organs and away from baby. Being able to talk ensures that baby is still getting all the O2 that they need.

    Every day might feel different. Keep experimenting. If an exercise doesn’t feel good - nix it for the day and sub in something else. But don’t be afraid to try that initial exercise again on a different day. For example, some days, lunges don’t feel great for me - too much shearing at my pubic symphysis (small, low, front portion of pelvis where the two halves of your pelvis come together). Other days, I feel just fine. It’s always a “day by day” for me on this exercise. 

    On that note - make sure that you are getting as much sleep as possible! I know it gets really hard in that third trimester (even with all of those body / wedge / pillow mountains) but if you are feeling exhausted - maybe pause the exercise for the day, or just take a gentle walk or swim to get your blood moving. Typically, exercise will help you to feel more energized - but do NOT beat yourself up if you decide to take a nap instead. Sleep is SO IMPORTANT! 

    If anything hurts or feels awkward / weird - trust your gut and scale back. If you need more specific guidance, seek support - I'm here for you, but I also have a fantastic network of trusted PTs who specialize in women’s health. You don't have to figure this out on your own!