As you complete your sixth month, you are entering the last trimester of your pregnancy – the third trimester. Feeling Braxton hicks, increased fetal movements, and getting kicked more and more by your little naughty one indicates that you are successfully pacing the seventh month of the pregnancy. There is a mixed feeling of excitement and discomfort with the onset of the third trimester. If you were into pre-natal exercising, you should not stop exercise during the 7th month of pregnancy because of tiredness and other pregnancy-related symptoms.
The changes in your body during pregnancy are many. The growing baby may put pressure on your large belly and your other internal organs. This, in turn, results in lower back pain, frequent urination, constipation, interrupted sleep, digestive issues, etc. You might also feel unstable joints, dizziness, swelling in the body, etc. It’s not easy to exercise with all these physical and emotional changes in the third trimester, but exercising during this time is definitely worth it. So, let’s try to keep this incredible journey soothing and relaxing with the help of pre-natal exercises.
All about exercise during 7th month of pregnancy
Is it safe to exercise during 7th month of pregnancy? What are the things to take care of while doing 7th-month pregnancy exercises? Read on to get the answers to all your queries about 7th-month pregnancy exercises.
According to health experts, it is not only safe but also healthy to exercise during pregnancy. The only thing is you need to consult your doctor before beginning 7th-month exercises. Also, there are a few points you should keep in mind before you start 7th-month pregnancy exercises.
Exercise is considered safe considering your health and medical conditions.
- It is not advisable to try any brand-new exercise which you haven’t tried earlier.
- If you have any medical conditions like heart diseases or asthma or like, you should seek professional guidance.
- Avoid the exercises which require you to lie flat on your back, strong forward or backbends, lying down on your stomach or any other exercise which puts pressure on your abdomen.
- Seek medical advice if you have a history of miscarriage or chances of preeclampsia.
General benefits of exercise during 7th month of pregnancy
If you are looking for remedies to counteract your unpleasant symptoms during your third trimester of pregnancy, nothing beats exercise.
- It lowers certain complications like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Exercising relieves you from the pregnancy side effects like back pain, fatigue, constipation, and swelling.
- It creates space for your baby and internal organs preparing you and your baby for normal delivery.
- Regular exercise during pregnancy improves blood circulation and keeps the heart rate stable.
- It strengthens your bones and muscles and in turn, helps you to recover faster after the delivery.
Keeping these in mind, let’s get in some comfortable maternity clothing to warm up in a nice, peaceful, and relaxing place.
Preparation or Warm Up for Pregnancy Exercise
It is recommended to do a warm-up before starting with the actual work out. The warm-up helps to prepare your body to exercise by reducing body stiffness and increasing flexibility.
Here are a few warm-up exercises:
Tilting your head right and left side and nodding it up and down is one to start with head rotation. Do each side movement for five-five times. Then do head rotation movement for five times.
Gentle arm swing rotation (clockwise and anti-clockwise) is another warmup exercise. Do this five times.
Place your fingertips of both the palms on your shoulders and rotate the arms together in a circular motion trying to stretch the elbows as far back as possible. Do this five times.
This movement doesn’t only warm you up for exercise but also releases the tension around your lungs making breathing easier and also it stimulates the function of mammary glands.
Sit down stretching your legs in front of you. Gently rotate both the ankles in a circular motion for ten times. This will remove the stiffness in your feet and improves blood circulation. It will also help you to extend your sitting duration.
Exercise during 7th Month of Pregnancy for a Healthy Pregnancy and Delivery
Here is the complete guide on the exercises, steps, and benefits of each exercise when done during the 7th month of pregnancy.
#1. Brisk walking
If you feel lazy to start any exercise, you can start with something as simple as brisk walking. This is what most of the gynecologists recommend to pregnant women. Just make sure to get comfortable and supportive footwear, that would help you to relieve your lower backache to some extent. The benefits of brisk walking during 7th month or third trimester of pregnancy are,
- It increases the chances of natural birth over C-section.
- It reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
- It helps you to stretch your body and brings your muscles back to activity.
- It also improves your mood and boosts energy.
- Constipation is a common symptom during pregnancy which can be relieved by brisk walking.
- It helps you to get better sleep.
- It also strengthens your muscles.
- Short walks multiple times a day also helps reduce edema(swelling of legs) during pregnancy by improving blood circulation. Wear compression socks if you have edema.
If you continue walking during your pregnancy, your strong muscles and bones will help you to recover quickly post-delivery.
#2. Swimming or water aerobics
Reading this you might ask yourself that is swimming safe during the third trimester?
The answer is yes, swimming is safe to do throughout the pregnancy if you are well trained and free from any medical conditions. Consult your doctor before you chose to go for swimming. During normal pregnancy, you can opt for swimming for 25-30 minutes at a time and 3-5 days a week.
The benefits of swimming are,
- Water soothes the pain and any uncomfortable feelings.
- Swimming relaxes and calms your body.
- It is also known to give you better sleep and rejuvenate you.
Make sure that you swim in the areas which you feel are safe. Also, keep a check on water temperature and chlorine levels in the water.
#3. Pelvic Stretches
As the baby grows, pelvic floor muscles weaken due to stretching. It is very important to maintain its strength, especially during the third trimester to support the growing baby. Here are a few of the best pelvic floor muscle exercises.
Here comes the queen of all prenatal exercises. This is one of the most recommended exercises by gynecologists.
- Squats prepare you for the big day by helping in the contraction and relaxation of pelvic muscles.
- Squatting also helps in the smooth opening up of your pelvis thereby assisting in your baby’s descent.
- It strengthens the thigh and back muscles.
- It also stretches up the hips and makes space for your baby’s growth.
Squats are safe to do but don’t overdo it and also do consult your doctor before starting squats.
Butterfly exercise is the simplest one and the most recommended exercise during pregnancy. In butterfly pose, you sit on the floor keeping your back straight, bringing the soles of your feet together with the angles close to your pelvic region as shown in the figure. You can lean forward a little to stretch the muscles more. The benefits of butterfly exercise are,
- It strengthens the thigh and pelvic region.
- It improves your blood circulation.
- It widens and opens up your pelvic area and prepares you for normal delivery.
- This exercise relieves sore thigh and legs muscles.
Try this exercise if you are feeling stiffness in your inner thighs and groin muscles. In this pose, first, you stand straight with feet apart, then you bend your knees and position your hips as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair and hold that position for a few seconds, and then stand again. If you feel it is difficult to keep your balance while doing this exercise you can hold on to a sturdy table for support while bending your knees and lowering your hip.
- This exercise helps you to relax your mind and brings you peace.
- It boosts your energy level and prepares you for the labor.
- It strengthens the thigh and groin muscles and removes their stiffness.
Another alternative is to use a sturdy chair itself to sit while doing a chair pose. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart, gently sit on a chair with your bottom resting on the seat. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds and then stand up slowly. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
#4. Mountain pose
Mountain pose or parvatasana is one of the most simple and meditating pre-natal exercises. Sit cross-legged in padmasana posture on a mat. Keep your back straight. Now raise your hands above your head, elbows straight, and bring both your palms close touching each other. Hold the position for a few seconds and bring down the hands slowly. Inhale and exhale slowly as you do this exercise. Repeat it 2-3 times.
- It improves your posture during pregnancy.
- It helps you to relieve from backache.
- It improves blood circulation and removes the tightness in the shoulders and arm.
#5. Child’s pose
Be a child for your child. Balasana or child’s pose is also a prenatal exercise that can be done during the 7th month of pregnancy. This resting exercise mainly focuses on your focused breathing and the position.
First, kneel on a yoga mat and sit on your heels such that the top of your feet falls flat on the yoga mat your two big toes are touching each other. Hold that position for a few seconds and feel comfortable in this position. Then widen your hips and bend down slowly, making your forehead touch the mat. You can also use a pillow or block to rest your forehead if you can’t bend all the way down to the floor and touch the forehead on the mat due to your belly size. If you are comfortable, you can slowly stretch your hands above your head and keep them on the mat and relax. Hold the pose for 5 to 7 breath and then slowly go back to the sitting position itself. Repeat 2-3 times.
- It relieves backache.
- It stretches your spine and strengthens it.
- It also improves blood circulation. This is a unique exercise that you can do also during labor contractions.
#6. Side-lying pose
This relaxing exercise is one of the most favorites of most of the expecting mothers. Place a pillow under your head or in between your thighs and relax lying down on your side. This is one of the great exercises to rest and connect with your little one.
- It relaxes your whole body.
- It helps you to connect with your baby.
- This is also a pose best for sleeping from the 7th month onwards as it distributes the excess weight around your waist. Also, it is not advised to lie on the back in the third trimester as it puts pressure on your vena cava, a vein that carries blood from your lower body back to the heart.
#7. Palm Tree Pose
Tadasana or palm tree pose is also a balancing exercise. This involves stretching your hands and chest muscles. First, stand on a flat surface with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing straight. Now bring your hands together close to your heart like a namaste. Breathe in and out slowly and steadily. Extend your hands above your head as you breathe in and breathe out. Slowly bring back the hands to namaste position. Repeat.
- It helps to bring out the balance in your body as your baby grows and you put on weight.
- It stretches the spine and shoulders relieving the stiffness in the muscles
#8. Kegel exercise
Kegel exercise helps to strengthen the bladder and uterus muscles and also the muscles of the bowel area.
- Strengthens pelvic floor muscles
- It helps reduce urinary incontinence.
- Reduces chances of perineal tear during delivery.
#9. Birthing ball exercises
Exercises using birthing balls are also a great workout for the body especially hip and tummy muscles. They also help improve your posture, body balance, and strength.
Some simple birthing ball exercises include sitting on the ball and rotating your hips clockwise and anti-clockwise. Using a birthing ball to sit while doing kegel exercise is also great. You can also rock your pelvis, keeping your shoulders still, from side to side and front to back while sitting on a birthing ball. Use assistance or supervision while doing birthing ball exercises if it’s difficult for you to balance properly on a ball.
When to stop the exercise and seek advice?
For an expectant mother, about 30 minutes of exercising is ideal. Still, you should keep a check for a few symptoms during your pre-natal exercising schedule. If you observe any of the signs, you should stop exercising immediately and contact the doctor.
- Medical conditions like heart problems, asthma, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
- Vaginal bleeding
- History of miscarriage or premature delivery
- Contractions after or while exercising
- Pain and discomfort after or during exercise
Keep in mind that exercise during pregnancy is to ease your pregnancy symptoms. If you start feeling pain or discomfort or observe any of the above-mentioned signs, stop exercising immediately. Exercise only if you feel comfortable and safe.
The guidance given here is not an alternative to professional guidance, you must seek professional advice before starting with any pre-natal workout.
I hope this article about exercise during 7th month of pregnancy will help you to pace towards your motherhood journey smoothly. Share your experiences and how exercising helped you during pregnancy and recover post-delivery. Can’t wait to read about your experiences, till then happy exercising to you and your little one!