By Ali Handley
The 2nd trimester is often the easiest period during pregnancy, starting from week 13 all the way through to Week 27. Most mamas report feeling a renewed surge of energy and nausea, and exhaustion tends to subside during this period.
The brain fog of early pregnancy has lifted, so it’s the ideal time to book into a birth course. This is an important step for all first-time mamas and their birth partners. Taking part in a birth course during the 2nd trimester allows enough time to absorb the information, set birth goals, build a birth team and make decisions about preferences. It can be a time of great joy and heightened emotions as the hormones continue to flow and mamas feel an ever deeper connection to their growing baby, with little kicks starting to increase from around 20 weeks onwards.
The body continues to go through changes as the belly grows, so it’s important to understand these changes, and the exercise choices as they will address and support during this important time. To safely work out during your 2nd trimester, our Bodylove Mamas NEW! week-by-week collection of dynamic and safe workouts is specifically designed for the 2nd trimester, find the workouts here.
My Top Exercise Tips…
- Continue to avoid flexion – This means avoid ab crunches in exercises and your everyday life!
- Include deep core strengthening exercises in every workout – My favourite all-time core move is “Hug Your Baby” This can be done by simple breathing in a seated or all fours position.
- Strengthen the upper body and postural muscles – As the baby and your breasts grow, the natural curves of your body are exaggerated. It’s important to address these changes so we focus on strengthening the opposing shoulder and back muscles so you continue to feel strong and pain-free.
- Strengthening and toning lower body – Strong legs and glutes will support your pelvis from below which is becoming increasingly unstable as Estrogen and Relaxin build in the body and the growing uterus requires more support from below. We want you to have strong glutes and hamstrings to help counter the effects of the increased low back curve as your centre of gravity shifts with the weight of the baby on the front of the body.
- Limited time in supine – As your baby grows, lying on your back can put pressure on your Vena Cava. The general rule of thumb – is no longer than 5 minutes on your back, but listen to your body – if it feels wrong – change position straight away.
- Stop unilateral work – If you experience any Pubic Bone Pain or SI joint pain stop working one leg at a time and instead include bridging and squatting work to strengthen legs and relieve symptoms.
- No prone work – This refers to any work on your stomach. It will be uncomfortable and puts dangerous pressure on the growing uterus.
- Continue to stretch – Deep Glute muscles will become locked as your pelvis widens so ensure you are always stretching these out at the beginning and end of workouts (piriformis stretch, pinky ball standing piriformis release). Other stretches include – the calf, hamstring, pecs, and neck.
- Continue with safe cardio – You should still be including regular cardio in your workout regime. Whether that is through standing Pilates and barre work, power walking, elliptical, swimming and spinning, it remains important to work out your heart at a safe level to stay fit for the challenges of labor and beyond. Caution – ensure you remain hydrated at all times and do not overheat.
Safe Positions For 2nd Trimester Clients
- Supine – no longer than 5 mins.
- Side-lying – caution – discontinue all unilateral work side lying if there is SI Joint or Pubic Bone pain.
- All fours
Bodylove Mamas has a NEW! week-by-week collection of dynamic and safe workouts specifically designed for the 2nd trimester. Starting from week 13, learn how to modify and correctly transition how to work out while moving through pregnancy. These workouts are designed to be followed during Weeks 13-27 but mamas can also select any workout from all the prenatal categories to complement this collection – they are safe throughout the rest of pregnancy.