Second Trimester Exercises
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
In the second trimester of your pregnancy, more things are starting to change, day to day, as your baby grows and develops.
For many women, the second trimester is the easiest. Often, sickness lessens during this time. The body feels different, but not uncomfortable, and you get to feel that baby begin to move.
However, the second trimester of pregnancy is a time to take extra precaution in exercise. As the baby bump starts to show, balance changes. Pregnancy hormones are kicking in, which changes your flexibility. So, while you feel like you can stretch more than ever, take care to not overstretch connective tissue. You may find that your hips feel wider, and possibly have some pain associated with the bones widening and stretching. there is also a piece of connective tissue that attaches the lower back to the uterus. As the uterus grows, this ligament may pull on the lower back. The change in balance also can cause low back instability and pain.
Keeping all of this in mind, your doctor may ask that you take extra precautions during second trimester pregnancy exercises, such as:
- taking impact out of cardiovascular training
- reducing time spent on exercise
- sitting for all weight-baring exercises
Also, make sure to have water and a snack by you at all times. You may find a sudden, surprising blood sugar drop at any time. If this happens, you must sit immediately and eat a snack. Drink water every few minutes, regardless of whether you feel thirsty. Take bathroom breaks, of course.
Also, at this time, do not lie flat on your back for any exercise; this position could crush the vena cava, stopping the flow of blood to the baby.
Typical abdominal strengthening exercises should cease at this time, if not before. As soon as the bump begins to grow, take extra care not to stress the abdominal wall, as that can cause diastasis recti, the separation of the rectus abdominus. However, in every weight-baring exercise that you do, or in daily activities, remember that the abdominal walls are flexible muscles that can pull in or push outward. You want those muscles to pull in ever time you lift something, including your own body weight.
For example, going from a sitting to a standing position, take a breath in first. Using your hands to brace your body as you stand, exhale on the movement and imagine your abdominal walls hugging the baby. If you get into a habit of pushing the abdominal walls outward, they will grow and develop that way. Pushing your abdominal wall outward could cause a diastasis recti, an umbilical hernia, and a big post-pregnancy pooch.
If you are uncertain how to continue your training during this time, find a personal trainer who is prenatal certified.
Get more tips for pregnancy exercises by using The SML Fit Pregnancy DVD as a guide for your exercise.