Now in my third trimester with baby #2, the struggle to prioritize rest and activity continues. Both are very important ingredients to a healthy pregnancy, but for working moms like myself, finding the time to manage them together is tough. And just for the record, ‘working moms’ also includes stay-at-home moms. They are occupied most of the day as well.
I think the most important thing you can do is listen to your body. If I’m really feeling exhausted and there’s a window of opportunity for a quick nap or extra hour of sleep, I take it! Remind yourself of the lack of sleep that will surely accompany your new baby in just a few short months.
The same goes for exercise. With so many of us leading sedentary lives, a sore back or hips can often feel much better after a brisk walk. Remember, you don’t have to train like an Olympian during pregnancy, but regular activity will help manage your weight gain, boost energy, and help during the labor and delivery process. Those are great motivators for me.
I’m not an expert though, so I reached out to Dr. Chemen Tate at Eskanazi Health for some pointers.
“Before starting an exercise plan, take into consideration the changes that occur during pregnancy that may change your ability to perform certain activities. Things to consider are the changes in your center of gravity, the effect of weight gain on joints, a decreased ability to quickly change direction, and the risks of abdominal trauma late in pregnancy. Exercise should activate large muscle groups. Consider swimming, walking or jogging, aerobics, or rowing. Cycling can be safe early in pregnancy but consider transitioning to a stationary bike later in pregnancy. Maintaining a regular fitness program during pregnancy is important and may lower the risk of potential pregnancy complications related to excessive weight gain and blood pressure abnormalities,” Dr. Tate said. “Recommendations for rest are the same as for non-pregnancy women. 7-8 hours of rest. Many women will feel very tired in the first and last months of pregnancy and should rest as they need to. Getting a full-night of sleep will help battle fatigue.”
Finally, remember that every woman and every pregnancy is different, so don’t get too caught up comparing your exercise routines to others. Do what’s best for you and your baby!– Nina Criscuolo is a reporter for 24-Hour News 8’s Daybreak