Millions of babies are born every year in the United States, and that means millions of moms-to-be are getting ready for labor and delivery. Your third trimester is a great time to prepare your home and your body for what comes next: the arrival of your new family member.
Regular, gentle exercises are a great way to increase your strength and flexibility, and they can also help relieve some of the stress associated with the final weeks of pregnancy and the labor and delivery processes. The key is to focus on pregnancy-friendly exercises to avoid potential problems.
With two locations in Arlington, Texas, Women’s Health Services helps expectant moms stay active and healthy throughout pregnancy, tailoring exercise recommendations to each patient’s needs. In this post, our team reviews a few exercises ideal for the final months of your pregnancy.
Walking around your neighborhood or on a treadmill is an ideal option to stay fit and toned during your third trimester. Avoid outright running, which could cause complications. Swimming is another great option since the water actually helps support your belly to relieve muscle strain and make exercise easier.
Yoga and Pilates
Both of these options use gentle techniques to help strengthen your core and pelvic muscles without putting too much strain on your body. Look for classes specifically designed for pregnant women. If you prefer to do these exercises at home, schedule a visit with us first to make sure it’s not too risky.
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises help strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus and vagina. These exercises may ease the rigors of delivery, and they may also help prevent urinary stress incontinence that becomes more common when these muscles and ligaments are weakened by pregnancy. Kegels are a great way to keep the pelvic floor strong and supportive.
While intense weight-bearing exercises and heavy weights should definitely be avoided, most women can safely use light weights to strengthen their arms and shoulders. Ask about planks, squats, and “wall push-ups” that can provide some variety without straining your belly.
Notes on exercise during pregnancy
While these exercises and activities are considered safe for the third trimester of pregnancy, it’s not a good idea to start any new exercise or physical activity without checking with our team first. It’s also critically important to take things easy, avoid overexertion, and report any unusual symptoms to our office immediately.
Aim for 30 minutes a day, ideally, but start slowly. If you haven’t been exercising during the first six months of your pregnancy, schedule a visit first to discuss safe options and begin with 5-10 minutes daily, working your way up to 30 minutes if indicated.
In the latter months of pregnancy, hormones make your joints more “elastic,” which could interfere with balance. Be aware of that when walking or performing other exercises that require balance to stay safe.
Finally, listen to your body: When you’re tired, stop and rest. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Comprehensive pregnancy care
Staying active while following a few simple safety guidelines helps you and your baby stay healthy in the final months of pregnancy and all the way through delivery.
To learn more about staying healthy during your pregnancy, call 817-277-9415 today, or book an appointment online with the team at Women’s Health Services.