Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pregnancy Exercise

I am currently 29 weeks, or 7 months pregnant, and I am huge! Well much bigger than on LM at this stage anyway. I got a bump on LM at 20 wks, but before that had nothing really, it just popped out. This was much more gradual- I have had a definite bump since week 14.
I was also much sicker and tired on this pregnancy, most likely to do with the very active toddler, who understandably did not get that his mama needed to lie still with eyes closed!! So I just played along with him, and got through the first trimester eventually.

I have now passed the middle of the 2nd trimester, apparently the honeymoon trimester, where you have so much more energy. I did feel much better, all nausea gone, and had a lot more energy. But that did not stretch to a walk after LM went to bed, or a yoga session before bed. No if I was lucky I went for a 25 minute walk at lunch Mon-Wed at work, but that depends on weather. Then we often go to Zoo at weekends, which is good exercise. But can’t see me walking to end of beach and back anytime soon- just no time during the day and too tired in the evening.

And now I am in 3rd trimester, I’m getting bigger and these Braxton hicks are really being felt!! The tightness, the discomfort... and usually when I try to do some walking.

Also LM doesn’t do prams. We stopped using the pram, the little we did use it anyway, when he was about 13/14 months old. He always slept better in the sling, and interacted more. Only really used the pram for long walks.
But now it is a bit of a quandary, do we try to re-introduce the pram, as I can no longer carry him in the sling (L!!), so I can go for walks while he sleeps. But the problem with that is he naps great in his bed, 2-2.5 hrs and we usually have to wake him. So I just have been trying to organise days around naps- either go places in mornings and back for naps, or leave when he’s tired and he naps in car. Only now he really only sleeps for an hour in car seat, and wakes easily.
So I have convinced myself!!! Only one solution, no pram just continue as we have been- it just means my potential for walks is reduced. So short walks with LM in his trike. Or evening walks.
Or what other exercise might be beneficial for preparing my body for birth??
So I did a little googleing.
  1. Swimming- will get around to soon!
  2. Walking- I texted and friend and we went on first walk, which was great, alot longer than I would have gone on my own!! Good conversation too.
  3. Pelvic Floor Exercises: this is the most important exercise to do during pregnancy and after really for the rest of our lives!! This will keep us from any embarrassing incontinence issues down the line, so advice seems to be to do daily. I have an alarm set on my phone, but a good idea is to put little tiny stickers around the place, where you will see them a few times a day and every time you see them do your exercises.
  4. Yoga obviously is a good one. And I do have the yoga mat and ball. So here are some positions for easing discomforts during pregnancy and preparing for birth. Obviously I am not a yoga instructor, so best to do yoga, especially pregnancy yoga, in a class. Also consult your doctor before starting any new exercise.
    1. The figure 8 (or whaooo wiggle wiggle as I call it with LM who I try to get to join me in my yoga)- great for flexing your pelvis and loosening /easing pains in your lower back. Basically on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Then make the figure 8 with your hips, alternate between wide and small ‘8’s. Do about 12 repetitions and do in the other direction.
    2. The cat stretch (or tiger stretch- again for LM, his favourite book at the moment is “The Jungle Book” and he likes Sher Khan the tiger)- great for back pain, again on all fours, and breath out while tucking your chin to chest and arching back up- like a chat would. Then return to original position, while breathing in. Keeping back straight in all fours position.
    3. The squat (pretend seat- again for LM, we pretend we are sitting down, and have a cuppa tea) - great for leg muscles, and those planning on squatting being potentially incorporated into birth.
    4. Tailor sitting (taken from the Mayo Clinic): Sit on the floor with your back straight in the "butterfly position" (the bottoms of your feet together and your knees dropped comfortably). As you press both knees gently toward the floor using your elbows, you should feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Don't bounce your knees up and down rapidly. If you find it difficult at first to keep your back straight, use a wall to support your back. Hold the position for 10 or 15 seconds and repeat the stretch 5 or 10 times.
    5. Shoulders/ neck exercises- I seem to be carrying all my tensions at the moment in my shoulders and neck, twice this pregnancy have been crippled with shoulder/neck muscle cramps that have tensed my whole back up, resulting in me stuck in bed for at least 2 days. So this includes shoulder roles, head turns

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