Second Trimester - Exercise Guidelines & Your body.
Welcome to the second trimester. They say this is the easiest of the 3 trimesters. For a lot of women the morning sickness would have faded, your boobs might have stopped aching and because your baby is now relying on the placenta it places less stress on you hormonally which can mean a clearer mind and less mood swings.
You may or may not have a bump yet if you've just entered the 2nd trimester as we all carry differently especially depending on how many pregnancies you've had previously and your natural shape but by the end of this trimester most if not all of us will have a bump of some kind or shape. I love how we all carry so differently and its so beautiful to see bumps of all shapes and sizes. If this is your 2nd or 3rd or more pregnancies you will probably find your bump appears quicker and if its your first or you might find it could take a lot long to see a proper bump. I personally find this stage between 15-20 weeks hard as II look like I am bloated and have eaten too much rather than an actual baby bump which can hard to dress and feel comfortable in my skin.
Although it can be an easier trimester for some of us it can still be a struggle and new symptoms can start showing. Your body is increasing in the amount of relaxin which can cause extra pain and instability in our pelvic joints, you may have what feels like sciatic pain but is more likely Pelvic Girdle Pain or you're starting to have postural problem as your breasts get larger and heavier and if you previously had abdominal separation that can start appearing again too. With every subsequent pregnancy your abdominal separation can return quicker and worsen which is why it can be even more important to be ensuring correct and safe exercise and to be removing any abdominal exercise or anything that places increased pressure through the abdomen this is the same for pelvic floor issues they can return earlier or if its your first pregnancy you may start noticing leakage or weakness through out this trimester.
Another symptom you may notice is that you're easily out of breath which is totally normal as your uterus grows, your blood volume increases and your organs become crowded, this is why it's important to monitor your intensity while exercising to ensure you don't push your self too far and faint. Keep it to max of 5-6/10 if you're a beginner-intermediate or 7/10 if you're an advanced gym or fitness goer. Listen to your body and your breath and if you feel dizzy or light headed stop straight away and catch your breath while gently walking around.
You might notice during this trimester stretch marks and cellulite appearing. Try not to panic and remember your body is doing what it needs to carry your child. Stretch marks do fade over time. There is no real way of preventing them but I do like to use a nice oil on my tummy to help with them and also relieve and tightness or dryness on the skin as your tummy grows.
This trimester is where you’ll start to seeing weight gain happening , try not to be alarmed it is compeletly normal and essential to growing a human. If you are concerned with rapid or extreme weight gain speak to your OB or doctor about ways to manage and to make sure everything is okay.
PREGNANCY TRAINING GUIDELINES TRIMESTER 2:
- All pregnancy guidelines for trimester 1 to be included which you can find HERE.
- Gain medical clearance from GP or OB
- Remove all high impact movements (jumping, skipping, running etc.)
- Remove all heavy lifting to protect pelvic floor.
- Remove pull ups & full push ups to protect the core from extra separation and to protect the pelvic floor.
- Use a swiss ball or wall for movements as an alternate for things like pushups or when performing weight based exercises.
- Have feet in a narrow stance for (about shoulder width) when performing squats & deadlifts if you are experiencing pelvic pain or instability.
- Perform squats and deadlifts no deeper than a 90 degree angle ( thighs parrallel to floor) , this will protect your pelvic floor and pelvic joints.
- Avoid supine (laying on your back) exercises from 16 weeks. You can modify some movements by placing your feet on a step or the lounge to keep your hips higher than your heart or your shoulders on an incline when doing weight based exercises such as a bench press which will allow the continued flow of oxygen and blood to baby.
- Avoid prolonged stationary standing to perform weight training - perform seated, while slowly walking on bench or swiss ball.
- Work on strengthening your posture with back exercises some ideas : seated row, low row, bent over row (if your tummy isnt it the way), one arm row.
- If you are experiencing pelvic pain avoid one legged movements such as lunges or any movement where your weight is on one side of your body.
- If you are experiencing instability or pain in pelvic joints or region: No walking lunges.
- Remove abdominal workouts and focus on your deep core engagement and pelvic floor instead
- Continue with your pelvic floor exercises.
- Light weights, resistance bands and body weight for resistance training - try lower weight and higher reps.
- Include 20 - 30 mins of moderate cardio 3-4 times a week -there are no longer limits on your max heart rate but a pregnant woman should never exert themselves so much they are out of breath and unable to speak a sentence.
- Listen to your body and if you are not comfortable or something does not feel right stop immediately.
Any questions please feel free to reach out via my Instagram or email.