You may have heard that the second trimester is like the “honeymoon period” of the pregnancy; where the nausea has settled, you don’t feel huge yet and your body feels almost back to normal. Well, I’d heard from enough women that this is quite often a myth, so my mindset was to expect anything and everything.
To my pleasant surprise, I did feel like I fell into a “sweet spot” during this trimester. My nausea settled around week 14, I was sleeping well and my tummy hadn’t grown too much so I could move around freely. Like many women at this stage, my energy levels were back up so I was also motivated to exercise at a higher level than I could muster up in the first trimester, so that was a welcomed relief.
The second trimester is for most, a great opportunity to focus on your health and fitness. Now you might be starting to feel a little more like yourself, focusing on building strength and stability in preparation for motherhood. A big shout-out to those still not feeling good or dealing with nausea…you are genuine heros!
2nd trimester exercise options:
- Walking: I loved getting out for regular walks, much more enjoyable with more energy and it’s a great low impact cardio option for the 2nd trimester.
- Prenatal reformer classes: Upping the intensity and load at this stage felt right, especially when supervised by the BeActive physios. Trying to use that extra energy whilst I had it!
- Spin: This is another great, low-impact cardio option. I was getting in regular 20min spin bike sets whilst instructing pre/postnatal fitness classes…suddenly these felt great again! It’s important to self-paced using the “TALK” test, making sure you can always finish a sentence (easy for me to self-monitor, you can’t instruct if out of breath!).
- Home workouts: Lower intensity/impact interval training.
- Swimming: Great low-impact cardio, fully supported by the water.
- Pelvic floor: Minimum 3x daily sets…it’s easy to forget but building them into your daily routine is a huge help (e.g. traffic lights, brushing teeth, before you go to sleep).
This trimester also gifted me with the incredible experience of feeling my baby move inside me. Started off with small, sporadic kicks at night that turned into regularly timed rolls, bounces and hiccups throughout the day. This is when the whole pregnancy journey really hit home – I became acutely aware that I had a little human inside of me!
During this trimester, I gained a huge appreciation and respect for the female body. It is astounding what it can do and how it can adapt throughout pregnancy. AND the fact that this is all happening whilst the woman just continues living her life, working her job, raising other children. It’s epic!! I’ve watched women through these transitions, but to go through it myself has been a humbling and mind-altering experience. So take home message – enjoy the energy (if you’re lucky enough experience it), keep exercising and modify if needed, and enjoy those baby kicks!
Emma Kazmirowicz, Physiotherapist