At 3 months pregnant, the morning sickness may be beginning to wane and your energy may start to come back. The first trimester is the perfect time to start an exercise program to keep you and your baby healthy through the rest of your pregnancy. This article will help you be strong at 3 months pregnant.
Why Exercise When I’m 3 Months Pregnant?
Research shows that regular exercise during pregnancy can increase energy and decrease discomfort (like lower back pain, as well as foot and ankle swelling). It can also help with labor and delivery, as well as relieve some of the stress of carrying a baby around 24/7.
What does this mean for you at three months? While it may be difficult to exercise for the first few months due to morning sickness and fatigue, most women are feeling better by their third month. Exercise can alleviate some of the lasting effects of fatigue and nausea, making life a little easier on you.
How Should I Exercise?
This depends on your activity level before pregnancy. WebMD states that women who were active before pregnancy can continue with modifications as needed. Listen to your body and check with a doctor to make sure that your plan is right for you and your baby. If you were not active before pregnancy, start by consulting with your doctor. Strenuous workout programs are not recommended during this time. Walk, swim, or grab those stylish yoga shorts and head down to the gym for a prenatal yoga class. These are great ways to get your body moving without putting undue strain on yourself. Regardless of your activity level before pregnancy, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily. Moderate means that you have enough breath to talk while working out, but could not sing a song if you tried.
Which Activities Should I Consider?
Always check with a healthcare provider before exercising during pregnancy. Women with conditions such as heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, or risk of preterm labor may be advised not to exercise. Once you’ve gotten your doctor’s approval and you’re beginning your exercise plan, here are few activities to consider:
Aerobics – Low-impact aerobics are recommended; high-impact aerobics are not. Most classes offer low-impact modifications for high-impact moves, so you can still get a workout without all the jumping around.
Running/Walking – These are excellent choices depending on your fitness level. Hydrate often, and listen to your body to make sure you’re not putting undue stress on yourself.
Strength Training – This is a great exercise for pregnancy. However, avoid lifting heavy weights. This can put strain on you and the baby. Fit Pregnancy has a great article on safe weight-lifting techniques during pregnancy.
Swimming/Water Aerobics – Many women enjoy the pool while pregnant because the water supports their weight, giving them a break for a while. Swimming and water aerobics work on both aerobic capacity and strength, making them an ideal pregnancy workout choice.
Yoga – The stretching and strength work in yoga is great for pregnant bodies. However, there are a few positions to avoid. Twists, inversions, and lying flat on your back are not recommended. Your instructor will be able to show you how to modify positions in order to keep you and your baby safe.
What Exercises Should I Avoid?
Not all sports and activities are recommended during pregnancy. Here are a few that can be dangerous for you and your baby. Avoid contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. They pose an injury to both you and the baby. Anything with a high risk of falls is also not recommended during pregnancy, like skiing, gymnastics, horseback riding, surfing . Scuba diving is another dangerous activity to avoid. The change in pressure can be harmful to the baby. Breathing from an oxygen tank has also been shown to increase birth defects.
The Bottom Line
Exercise is a highly recommended way to increase energy and relieve stress. With the approval of your healthcare provider, you can choose from a number of different activities to make sure that you enjoy what you are doing and stay motivated. The end of the first trimester is a great time to start a workout routine that will set you up for success through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and beyond.
Featured photo credit: 40 Weeks Pregnant/Future Street via flic.kr