How far along? 19 Weeks
Baby Size: According to “The Bump” baby is the size of a mango.
Weight gain: 8lbs
Maternity clothes? I rocked my belly-band this week, which was cool for a few hours. I just hate not being extremely comfortable, so I think I’m just committed to maternity clothes at this point even though they are kind of big still. I have a really comfortable dress that’s probably my new favorite piece.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Best moment this week: Teaching our son where “baby” is (he points to my stomach). It’s adorable.
Miss Anything? Fitting into clothes (maternity or not – I hate
Movement: Still flutters and looking forward to stronger movement.
Food cravings: I really wanted a juicy nectarine this week.
Looking forward to: Seeing how baby is doing in there!
Exercises I Did In My First Pregnancy That I Will Not Be Engaging In At This Point In This Pregnancy
With my son I did a lot of exercises that were not risky for me or my son, but that did put a lot of unnecessary pressure on my midline and pelvic floor. This time I plan to avoid many of those exercises in the interest of helping to keep both my midline and pelvic floor as strong as possible. Pregnancy already does a number on both of these as pressure gets put on them. There is no reason for me to make the damage any worse!
Burpees –This was an exercise that I thought was avoided due to discomfort. I never felt discomfort doing this exercise so I would always do a modified out and in burpee. The problem with that is it puts extra pressure on the midline, causing a higher likelihood of abdominal separation to become Diastasis Recti. Though abdominal separation is to be expected in pregnancy (your growing belly is pushing against your abdominal wall) there seems to be no reason for me to make it worse. Once I hit my second trimester I began modifying my burpee by doing them against and elevated surface. I will use my stairs or the back of my couch, jump out and back in as my burpee. Now that my belly is getting bigger I will soon modify further performing the burpee by doing a squat with my arms overhead, coming out of the squat and leaning into an elevated surface (like a couch), and doing a push up off the couch. This keeps out the impact, and protects my midline.
Push-Ups – Speaking of push-ups, this was another exercise I did pretty late into pregnancy last time. Even though I modified by going doing to my knees, I was still putting a lot of pressure on my midline. I have already begun to modify push-ups by only doing them against an elevated surface. A bench is too low for my and still requires a lot of core engagement/pressure. Instead, I use the back of my couch or the 3rd/4th stair on our staircase. As I get bigger I will progress to simply doing these against a wall.
Jumping Motions (i.e. squat jump, lunge jump, mountain climbers, etc) – In my first pregnancy I know I jump roped occasionally, but many other jumping motions I stayed away from mostly for fear of falling. This time, I would like to keep a strong pelvic floor, and since I will run through as much of pregnancy as my body will allow (which does put extra pressure on the pelvis) I want to be kind to my pelvic floor in other ways. I stopped any high impact movements, except for burpees, as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It felt really uncomfortable on my ligaments, and I don’t want to spend my whole life peeing my pants. For our Fitness With Kristen workouts, I simply modify all jumping motions with the low impact version. Instead of squat jumps, I usually do weighted sumo squats. In place of lunge jumps, I usually do static lunges.
Sprints – While I did occasionally do running sprints in my first pregnancy (with OK from my Dr) I usually stuck to the row machine for speed bursts. This time, I definitely will not be doing running sprints. I remember how much pressure I felt afterward on my pelvis, and realize this time it is not worth it. With burst training, the idea is to really push your comfort zone and push your heart rate. Since this is something my body is used to, my Dr was comfortable with this, knowing that our body will only do what it can do. That being said, I still don’t give burst training 100% at this point, in the interest of not letting my heart rate get TOO high. Each Dr I have seen recommends that I be able to keep a conversation during my workouts. So I can do a short tough burst, but only if there is time implemented to recover. This time around, when my group members have been doing sprints, I have been mostly just doing a longer run, but sometimes I will do Kettlebell swings. This still works my whole body, but I have more control over my heart rate.
What CAN You Do While Pregnant?
Most low impact exercises are fine, as compound movements (think a lunge with a bicep curl). If you have been doing these moves, it’s not that you are necessarily putting your baby at risk, so much as you are risking the well being of your post partum body. Talk to your doctor about how vigorous your activity can be because it truly depends on your fitness level before pregnancy, and what your body is handling during pregnancy. Below are a few workouts you can try, one for each trimester of pregnancy.
First Trimester – Since most people are just sick during this trimester and fighting to function, a lot of rest is recommended. Work on some movements to maintain your fitness, while resting as needed. Pushing yourself too hard during the first trimester can cause more sickness. I have found that doing some kind of workout usually helped with my nausea.
After a warm-up, perform each exercise with at least 60 seconds between sets (take more time if needed). Once you have completed all sets of one exercise, progress to the next exercise.
- Front Squat – 10×3
- Thrusters – 10×2
- Lateral Raise – 12×4
- Kettlebell Swings – 15×3
Second Trimester – As energy levels increase in the second trimester, this is the perfect time to work on your fitness and safely elevated your heart rate, with doctor’s approval. This is also the time to begin protecting your midline by taking out any crunching type exercises. You can do the bridge off of a chair for an extra challenge, and if being on your back constricts your breathing (this is recommended by 20 weeks). Remember that working out in pregnancy is more about remaining fit that it is about pushing boundaries. It is OK to pace yourself as needed during this workout.
After a warm-up, perform 40 seconds of exercise with 15 seconds rest before moving on to the next exercise. Perform in a circuit format for 20 minutes.
- Side Plank Knee To Elbow (40 seconds each side)
- Elevated Push-up
- Dumbbell Thrusters
- Split Squat/Curl (40 seconds each side)
- Bridge/Tricep Extension
Third Trimester – As the end of pregnancy progresses, your balance is thrown and your strength may begin to decrease. Accommodate accordingly. These moves are intended to help keep you strong enough, with the endurance needed, to get through labor. Having endurance through your whole body (this means your arms, for holding on, not just your legs) will help you get through labor, and ideally have a quicker recovery. For the overhead squats, it is important to keep the weight light enough to accommodate the change in your center of gravity.
After a warm-up, perform each exercise with 60 seconds rest between sets. Once you have completed all sets of one exercise, move on to the next exercise.
- Overhead Squats – 10×3
- Deadlifts – 12×3
- Squat/Press – 10×4
- Bent Over Row – 10×3
- Reverse Lunge/Bicep Curl – 12×4