During the last months of pregnancy, the belly is large, and the body is heavy. It isn’t uncommon that the body is swollen. Both the uterus and baby are being pressed towards the lungs, therefore it can be heavier to breathe.
During the third trimester, it’s still recommended that you exercise, but at this time it can be good to start reducing the weight you use when working out and lower the tempo and intensity of the workout. Avoid supine exercises due to the risk of Vena Cava-Syndrome. You can read more about this in the article “Exercising during the second trimester”.
It is probably even more difficult to activate the abdominal muscles during this phase of the pregnancy, so it is crucial that you listen to your body. Focus on exercises with elements of breathing and relaxation to help prepare the body for the upcoming birth. Pregnancy yoga can be a great alternative during the last months of pregnancy.
Exercising with pregnancy-related issues
All women react differently to pregnancy, so it is difficult to provide general advice that will suit everybody. For example, if you experience pelvic pain, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or pelvic floor symptoms - seek help from a physiotherapist or naprapath with expertise in women’s health. This will allow you to get an examination and tailored advice.
In case of any medical conditions or high-risk pregnancy, you should consult your physician or other health care professional before doing any exercise to make sure it is safe to perform.
Sources: - Bø et al 2016. Exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes: 2016 evidence summary from the IOC aepert group meeting, Lausanne. Part 1 - exercise in women planning pregnancy and those who are pregnant. - Fysisk aktivitet i sjukdomsprevention och sjukdomsbehandling-FYSS 2021. YFA. Rekommendationer om fysisk aktivitet och stillasittande under och efter graviditet. - Regberg Lundborg. Balkong Förlag 2017. Gravidkraft - Hälsa genom rörelse och träning - Mottola et al. 2019. Canadian guideline for physical activity throughout pregnancy. - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2003. Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period