Third trimester: Exercise do’s and don’ts

Congrats, you’re officially on the final stretch of your pregnancy! The moment to finally meet your baby girl is almost here. You probably have a million things to do before your little one arrives, but remember to leave time to exercise in your busy schedule.

You may feel discouraged to move and exercise as your belly continues to grow. It’s common that the late pregnancy symptoms demand you to slow down a bit. This period is known for its steady weight gain, shortness of breath, fatigue and trouble sleeping. Swimming or doing water aerobics have been proven especially beneficial during the third trimester as the water can help alleviate some of the most common discomforts.

There are certain exercises that you can do during this time to help you prepare for labor. For a physical workout, strong pelvic floor exercises help position your little one’s head during delivery and may minimize your risk of late pregnancy, postpartum hemorrhoids or urinary infections (UTI’s). Mind/body exercises (such as yoga, mindful breathing or body-scan meditations) will help you focus and control your body and use it to your advantage during high-endurance events (such as labor).

It’s very important to remember that during the last trimester, you should avoid any exercises that may decrease the blood flow to your vital organs as well as the baby’s. Avoid standing for long periods of time as well as lifting heavy objects. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists enlist several warning signs to discontinue an exercise while pregnant which include: vaginal bleeding, painful contractions, amniotic fluid leakage, chest pain, dizziness and headaches. Remember to always keep your doctor in the loop, listen to your body, stay safe and enjoy these last moments of your pregnancy.

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