Exercise throughout the third trimester of pregnancy aids labour preparation and facilitates easy delivery. Your core body muscles, which have been supporting your growing kid over the previous few months, will likely be weak if you haven't exercised during your pregnancy. When these muscles are in good shape, you'll have strong control over labour contractions.
In an exclusive conversation with Zee English, Dr Meenu Agarwal, Gynecologist, Infertility Specialist, and Laparoscopic Surgeon (Obs & Gyn), Ruby Hall Clinic shares the best exercises women in their third and final trimester of pregnancy can follow for some relaxation and ease.
As the beautiful journey of pregnancy progresses, expectant mothers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr Meenu says, "Regular exercise during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester, offers numerous benefits, including improved stamina, reduced discomfort, and enhanced overall well-being."
Here are some highly recommended exercises for pregnant women to consider during the final stage of pregnancy.
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Prenatal yoga is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and promote relaxation. It focuses on gentle stretches, deep breathing, and body awareness, all of which can help alleviate common discomforts like back pain and swollen ankles. Additionally, prenatal yoga classes often provide a supportive environment for pregnant women to connect.
Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels)
Kegel exercises target the muscles of the pelvic floor, which play a crucial role during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to improve their strength and flexibility.
Swimming is a fantastic full-body workout for pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. The buoyancy of the water relieves pressure on joints and allows for a low-impact cardiovascular workout. It helps to alleviate swelling, reduce back pain, and promote circulation. Additionally, swimming offers a refreshing and weightless sensation, which can be incredibly relaxing for expectant mothers.
Prenatal Pilates is a gentle exercise method that focuses on core strength, posture, and overall body alignment. It helps improve balance and stability, which can be particularly beneficial as the weight distribution shifts during pregnancy.
One of the simplest yet highly effective exercises during pregnancy is walking. It requires no special equipment, can be done almost anywhere, and is suitable for women of all fitness levels. Walking helps maintain cardiovascular health, strengthens leg muscles, and promotes good posture. It is a low-impact exercise that can be easily adjusted to match the energy levels and comfort of the expectant mother.
Squats strengthen the leg and pelvic muscles, which are vital during labour and delivery. They also help maintain flexibility, improve posture, and alleviate lower back pain.
Stress management and relaxation techniques are essential during pregnancy. Practices like deep breathing, meditation, and prenatal massages help reduce anxiety, promote better sleep, and enhance overall well-being.
"Staying active during the last trimester of pregnancy is essential for both the physical and mental well-being of expectant mothers. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting or continuing any exercise regimen," emphasises Dr Meenu.
By incorporating these exercises into their routine, pregnant women can experience the benefits of staying active while ensuring the safety and comfort of themselves and their growing baby.
Remember to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and enjoy this beautiful phase of preparing for motherhood.