3 Important Exercises during 3rd Trimester
Even though you may not feel like doing much at all as your belly grows week after week, it’s important to keep moving throughout pregnancy, including in the awkward and uncomfortable last weeks. Third-trimester exercises are some of the most important, helping to alleviate aches and pains while also preparing your body for labor. These exercises will open up the hips and pelvis, strengthening the muscles you’ll be using during childbirth.
“Don’t let fatigue rule the end of your pregnancy. Keep up your exercise schedule with this easy-to-follow plan for months 8-9 of your pregnancy.”
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles come under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth.
The pelvic floor muscles are overstretched and weakened underneath that weight so it is important to do pelvic floor exercises to maintain muscle tone. If your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain. This is quite common and you needn’t feel embarrassed. It’s known as stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy.
The full squat position is a passive position that allows gravity to open the pelvis, causing the pelvic floor muscles to engage. Use a prop if you need to, placing a rolled-up towel or yoga mat under your heels if they don’t reach the ground.
Squatting can open your pelvic outlet by 10 percent. When you squat to induce labor, it creates more room for the baby to move down into the birth canal. Squatting during the third trimester helps strengthen your leg muscles. Strong legs are a must when it comes to labor and the final push to give birth. It eases constipation and pressure on the pelvic floor – a blessing during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
Though squatting to induce labor is harmless in most cases, but you need to keep some points in mind. If your baby is in breach position, squatting can prove to be harmful. This is because squatting will force her to descend the birth canal without giving her the chance to move into proper position. So talk to your doctor to make sure your baby is head down before you try squatting.
Given all the stretching that your ab muscles go through during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby, you wouldn’t be the first woman to wonder if there must be something you can do to keep them in shape and speed recovery after birth. And while pregnancy isn’t the time to strive for the chiseled core you’ve always dreamed of, you can certainly take a few safe steps, with the guidance of your practitioner, to maintain your fitness and keep your core strong during pregnancy. In fact, exercising your abs during pregnancy has lots of benefits, including reduced risk for back pain and potentially even a speedier labor.
You can do abdominal exercise in the late stages of pregnancy, as long as they are gentle exercises that don’t over-strain the abdominal muscles. A basic pelvic tilt is a great place to start and is safe at all stages. For more of a challenge, you can add movement to the pelvic tilt by incorporating knee lifts and toe taps.
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