This is the last post in a series of posts about eating well and exercising during pregnancy by personal trainer Schatem Boyd. This post will focus on third trimester eating and exercise.
By Schatem Boyd
A couple of things about the third trimester. One: You are uncomfortable and can’t possibly imagine eating because you feel like there is no more room in your belly (or your rib cage for that matter). Two: You feel like you are as big as a house and so movement outside of walking seems like quite the feat. Someone told me when I was in my third trimester that you have to get so uncomfortable you don’t care how the baby gets out. That is LEGIT! Just keep telling yourself you will get to meet your baby soon and to keep doing all the great things you need to in order to keep him or her healthy!
Ok, so exercise in the 3rd trimester. KEEP MOVING! Don’t let the fatigue of your last trimester rule these last few months.
As long as you’re not at risk for delivering a preterm baby, exercise is safe in the third trimester. But if you’re used to doing moderate- or high-impact exercise, discuss with your doctor or midwife whether you should continue your routine. I recommend doing a Cardio Workout three times a week, on the days in between your Weight Workouts. So you might do your cardio sessions on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and then weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Remember, these are not intense workouts here. Just some small 15-30 minute workouts is all you need!
Because heavy weights can put too much stress on tendons and ligaments, which become more relaxed late in pregnancy, consider doing more light weight or body weight exercises. You can also get a great workout with resistance bands and medicine balls. Whatever your exercise level, scale back if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Listening to your body is key. Prenatal yoga classes or brisk walking instead are great forms of exercise. It is really important to Keep up abdominal and back exercises to help with postural changes and stability and to keep your body strong after the baby’s born when you’ll have a lot of lifting to do. Since doing crunches on your back is not safe, switch to standing pelvic tilts or lying on your side or on your hands and knees; concentrate on bringing your navel toward your spine. Woodchops are also great.
Now on to eating in the 3rd trimester.
Even if you feel like you can’t eat a full meal, snack on healthy small meals all day. I remember eating a handful of nuts and feeling like I could survive for the next 3 days!
Right now not only is baby getting bigger and hungrier, but brain development is fast and furious. It is important to fuel that brain growth (and the development of baby’s eyes) with a diet rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. This fabulous fat is found in salmon, DHA eggs, and walnuts. Nuts are a great source of protein and heart-healthy fats, and make a great snack since they’re easy to store. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashews all have healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Keep in mind if you are planning on nursing, you will use the third trimester to prepare for this as well. Healthy fats are important in the third trimester to support your pregnancy and prepare for lactation. The key is focusing on fats that come from whole foods (like nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, eggs, salmon, yogurt, and cheese), rather than the processed saturated and trans fats you’ll find in packaged foods. Whole foods supply vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fat.
The best advice I can give you with regards to eating is it is not about quantity but quality. Make sure, since there isn’t much room in that belly, that if you are going to eat something that it is something of value and contains excellent nutritional value!
Hey everyone! My name is Schatem I am a 34-year-old personal trainer, business owner, part-time freelance business advisor and consultant and most importantly, mom to my beautiful 2-year-old daughter. My life is crazy busy with a lot of moving parts. I have become a master at juggling! I love helping people. It is my passion! If I can help someone, it makes my day.
When I am not running my business, I am training people, helping them discover their strength and ability to change their body and lifestyle, or I am helping others build successful businesses. With all of this, I feel like my greatest accomplishment is my daughter. It took me 2 ½ years to get pregnant and when I finally got my little miracle, my life was changed forever! I am excited to be a part of this blog, and hope that some of my story will help others!