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Caution: Baby on Board
writes, "There is talk of babies being born at our gym, and of course questions about exercising during pregnancy. Tony and I are also expecting our second baby sometime in February and it has been somewhat of an experiment in reference to my exercise routine."
It's been an experiment because of my age and my stubborness to push myself beyond limitations. Of course the doctors don't realize what I do and how much weight I can throw around so it is typical for them to give out the exercise pamphlet that reads "walking and stretching are great ways to stay in shape while pregnant." So I thought I would do some homework and share my findings with pregnant moms or women trying to become pregnant.

During the first trimester you want to focus on strength not intensity, (assuming you are already working out). Your blood volume increases when you become pregnant, so trying to keep your heart rate at 140 bpm when exercising doesn't allow you to do much. Rather than focusing on heart rate, pay attention to your breathing. You should still be able to talk while you're working out. This is a time for maintaining your fitness, not intensity. Don't work out until the point of exhaustion and don't get over-heated. You don't want your core temperature to get too high. Make sure you rest between rounds or exercises, and drink water before, during and after your workout.

In the 2nd trimester, more changes in your body begin to occur, and workouts need to be adjusted accordingly. First, no more exercises that require lying on the back. The uterus is large enough to cut off blood supply to the baby, so alternate core exercises will need to be implemented. Do push ups until you can't any more, then move to wall, or elevated push ups. All of your joints are looser due to the relaxin hormone, so ballistic exercises should wait. Some women are still comfortable doing the lifts with light weight, but this is not for everyone. Shoulder presses and push presses are excellent exercises for strengthening without having to worry about your belly being in the way. Rowing, walking and good mornings are all exercises that should feel comfortable to you, and help keep those hips and back strong!

In the 3rd trimester, there are a lot of changes. Your growing belly will be in your way for a lot of exercises. No squatting past 90 degrees, but you are welcome to run, swim, and row if you still can, and lighten the weights a little more. Keep doing the exercises that are comfortable, and that does include walking and stretching. Don't try to do max efforts. Use dumbbells instead of a barbell to work around the belly if you need to. Don't forget to rest, drink your water and make sure your doctor ok's your exercise program.

These blog posts have been a blessing - my inspiration has come from the website http://crossfitmom.com/ Women with amazing baby bellies doing work. Please be sure to check them out.

Trina Kubitschek
Owner of CrossFit Station
Nutrition Counseling
Endurance Coaching


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