Many women face a variety of challenges in working out during pregnancy. From hormone-related issues to basic mechanical difficulties, there are always new modifications that need be applied, limitations considered, or things to be completely avoided. Here I have broken down what I found to be most helpful in tackling fitness goals during each trimester. Please note, that this is not designed to and does not provide medical advice or treatment to any individual.
The first trimester:
This can be a difficult time for many moms-in-the-making. One may experience nausea and/or vomiting, extremely low energy, cramping, and a roller coaster of emotions. Most moms keep their exciting news on the lock down. So not only do you feel like hell, but you can’t tell anyone why. Take it slow and easy. Listen to your body. I cut back on running and on my Bar Method classes during this time. I napped more. My diet consisted mostly of gummy bears. I worried that I was going to turn into a lump, but don’t worry, you’re comeback is just around the corner. Rest when you need to and eat your gummy bears. Just supplement with a green smoothie here and there if you can stomach it!
The amazing second trimester:
Most of us start to look [more] pregnant, energy is back and you can tell everyone what’s really been going on! You’ll probably resume your previous fitness routine. Remember it’s generally fine to do what you were doing before you were pregnant, but don’t take on anything too newly aggressive without first consulting your doctor. Also, remember to stay flexible to accommodate your body’s changes. I was going along fine until I suffered a pelvic sprain due to a combo of rapid weight gain and the relaxin hormone. I made some adjustments in class as to not aggravate the issue and replaced running with swimming. If you’re concerned about weight gain in general, try to use it to your advantage. While you shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting, you’ll be lifting yourself around. Think of the muscle you are building to support your heavier body and the strength of your heart pumping for two, let alone the added mass. It’s like working out with weight packs on top of a mountain! The muscle you build during pregnancy will continue to work for you postpartum, burning fat stores while you take time to recover and bond with your baby.
The third trimester:
Oy, what a workout. Your baby is taking up more room, and not only are you allotted less of your hard-earned oxygen, but your little one is smushing your lungs to make the job that much harder! Now that weight gain can put even more pressure on your feet and joints, and cause more swelling all over. For barre class, I would stand on a mini-mat to lessen the pressure on my feet. I began leaving class at the halfway mark, though modifications were provided should I have chosen to stay. My first trimester exhaustion was back so I counted the slightest achievements of physical exercise victories. And as my body grew and I began fretting to leave the house, I kept up my practice with Bar Online at home. Whether it was 20 minutes or a full hour, I could do what suited me in whatever outfit suited me in the comfort of my living room until it was time to deliver.
Remember that during pregnancy, you’re training for an “event” and smart training delivers results. Having a baby is the most challenging event I could ever train for physically, mentally and emotionally. I knew I needed to stay as fit and focused as possible to face labor and delivery as my best self. In the end, my training was put to the test and I was quite pleased with the results. He’s freaking adorable, best result of my life. And my seat’s not looking too bad for it either.