Exercising right until the end of pregnancy? Yah or nah?

The theories out there regarding exercise during pregnancy are plentiful. We (Robs & Kit) often find ourselves sending each other pictures/magazine articles/fitness posts that literally blow-our-minds when it comes to the inaccuracy of information that people are putting out there with regards to exercise during pregnancy. We definitely don’t assume an expert role when it comes to our views on this topic, however Robs has studied this at University level for 7 years and definitely knows a lot more about the physiology of the human body above many ‘supposed experts’ who have done a short course in exercise during pregnancy or have created theories based on their personal experience.

So when it comes to exercising in trimester 3, what are Robs’ views??

  1. Kegals, Kegals, Kegals! These exercises can be done sitting, lying down or standing so require VERY LITTLE energy or effort. Maintaining your pelvic floor strength right to the very day that you go into labour (and thereafter) is of utmost importance. You will thank yourself in the years to come.
  2. Do only what you can and are comfortable with, if this means small body weight exercises and a few light stretches that lasts 15-20 minutes then you are already one step ahead of what most people are doing (which is generally nothing at all…)
  3. “Cardio” in those last few weeks should be of least importance, if you really are wanting to keep moving then we suggest complete non weight baring exercises like swimming. However if you are still super comfortable and pain free then light walks can continue to the very end.

And then to share our personal stories, Kit is currently 39 weeks pregnant with baby no 2. With Kit’s first pregnancy, she stayed fit right through her pregnancy and even managed a 1.5km swim the day before Sarah was born, at 1 day before her due date. Fast-forward 18 months and Kit has managed to stay active (mainly sticking to our trimester programmes) right through her 2nd pregnancy trimesters 1 and 2, and the start of trimester 3. Her weight gain has been far lower than her first pregnancy, although carrying a bigger baby and doing less intense workouts, and she was looking and feeling great. And then at 33 weeks pregnant, her baby boy hit a growth spurt and sent her into unbearable pain, which landed her on bed rest. Now at 39 weeks pregnant, baby has entered her pelvis and relieved her of all pain, and so once again she started (at 38 weeks pregnant) doing light arm workouts and 20 squats a day.

Robs on the other hand is currently 24 weeks pregnant and has had a completely different experience the second time around. She too did a 4km walk/slight jog the very day she went into labour with Mackenzie, at exactly 40 weeks pregnant. However this time around she didn’t do a single thing (And I literally mean not even a light walk) for the first 16 odd weeks due to her extreme hyperemesis. However shes now back into the full swing of things doing the Trimester 2 programme as well as private one on one Pilates classes and walking with Mackenzie in his jogger as often as possible. Robs too has gained less weight this pregnancy (Thus far) than she did with Mackenzie and is finally enjoying it. But there’s no telling what trimester 3 will have in store…

What we’ve learnt from our 2 very different experiences of exercising in Trimester 3, and in fact pregnancy all together, is simple… “Each pregnancy is so different to another, not just from mom to mom but even for ourselves too. Don’t treat your pregnancy as ‘run of the mill’, listen to your body and adjust accordingly; always remembering that your baby’s health comes first!”

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