Now that you’re in your second trimester, here’s what’s safe for you and your baby.
WORDS JOANNA ONG
All of the experts Motherhood spoke to agree that generally there are some exercises that are safe to be carried out during pregnancy which include swimming, walking, gym workouts on stationary bikes or cross trainers, Pilates and yoga. All of these are low impact forms of exercises and high impact sports such as MMA, rugby, in particular, and any vigorous contact sport where you run the risk of falling or injuring yourself or your baby should be avoided.
Dr Deborah Wong, owner of Breathe Pilates recommends Pilates, ideally twice a week, in the second trimester when the pregnancy is more stable. It is advisable that you engage a qualified prenatal instructor whenever you attend gym and fitness classes. During this trimester, the instructors will focus working on your arms and shoulder girdle to prepare for all the duties like carrying the baby, pushing the pram and breastfeeding after your baby is born.
Ashleigh Mitchell, an osteopath specialising in pregnancy and paediatrics from City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy adds that the curvature of your spine and your centre of gravity start to significantly change during the second trimester therefore stretching and mobilising exercises such as Pilates and yoga are great to combat back, pelvic, neck and shoulder pain and help to get your body ready for the birthing process and post-natal recovery. Other than that, another great form of exercise is pre-natal aqua aerobics. It’s fun and feels great due to the increased buoyancy in the water.
It is also a good idea to start doing some breathing exercises during this stage of your pregnancy, suggests Mitchell. As your baby bump grows, it puts pressure on your diaphragm and thoracic cavity, which can make breathing more difficult. Difficulty in breathing can increase anxiety, neck and shoulder tension which in turn cause headaches and fatigue.
Take some time out of your day to work on slowing down your breath and trying to fill your lungs more. In the long term being able to control your breathing can help with the birthing process too.