If you are like most women, chances are that by your third trimester, you have lost that honeymoon feeling that enveloped you most of your middle months. With your growing belly, swollen limbs and a lackluster supply of energy, what’s a mom to do for exercising? As with any exercise program, it is essential to consult with your medical practioner prior to beginning. Once you have the green light, here are a few exercises to try at home or at the gym which will help keep you in shape but help your body prepare for delivery.
Why we love them: lunges really open up a pregnant woman’s hips and pelvic area, creating a wider cavity for baby to navigate through during the birthing process. This move also provides stretching for the leg and back muscles. Place your legs farther than hip’s width apart and hold the back of a chair or table to keep steady. Sway from side to side, deepening the leg bend gradually (but never more than 90 degrees.) Think of the movement as really exaggerated slow dancing from junior high! Train up to 30 lunges on each side.
Why we love them: similar to the side lunges, wall crouches help open up the pelvic cavity as well. This is an extremely great exercise to perform the last couple of weeks and is especially helpful in preparing the pelvic floor. For moms to be who have back complications, this exercise is heaven for the back! Slide down a wall until your crouched down a the bottom. Try to get your knees pointed slightly outwards like a ballerina plie, keeping your feet flat to the floor. (Try to think of how young children can crouch on the ground to examine a bug; that is the crouch you are going for!) Hold for up to five minutes.
A lot of buzz has been going around about Olympic curler Kristie Moore, who is competing while five months pregnant. Kristie, who found out she was pregnant just a few weeks before being invited to comete for the Canadian team, will be the first Olympian in 90 years to compete while pregnant. Some websites such as MomLogic express concern for her health and question whether her motives are selfishly putting the baby at risk. Their OB/GYN, Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, commented on the subject saying that the sport is probably the safest choice for a pregnant woman to be participating. Exercise is obviously very healthy for women who are expecting. It’s simply a matter of judging whether the activity is safe. There might not even be an issue, seeing as how Moore’s position on the team is an alternate, which means she only plays if another player is injured.