14 to 26 weeks/ 4 to 6 months
Most women find that the majority of the uncomfortable symptoms of the first trimester now disappear. You should have better sleep patterns and an increased energy level. However, some new symptoms such as back pain, abdominal pain, leg cramps, low blood pressure, constipation and heartburn. You may start to feel your baby move somewhere between 16 to 20 weeks.
Exercise in the second trimester:
- It is now safe to start new forms of exercise that you may not have done before.
- Swimming, Pre/Post Natal Pilates and Yoga classes and individual one to one personal training with a qualified instructor can all have huge benefits.
- Your Relaxin (Stretch Hormone) levels will have peaked at about week 12 and will now level off: take extreme caution when stretching and performing any dynamic movements: ligaments can easily be overstretched at this stage.
- Lying in supine (on your back) on a hard surface from now onwards can put pressure on the Superior Vena Cava which may cut off oxygen supply to your baby. Your instructor should either ask you to prop yourself up with pillows at about a 30 degree inclined angle, or move you from lying on your back to a different position before about three minutes (the length of time it takes for one complete oxygen cycle).
- The fully extended Shoulder Bridge exercise (commonly practised in Yoga classes) should be avoided from now on as this may have the same effect as the above. A less extended shoulder bridge, (the sort seen in Pilates) may be more beneficial at this time.
- Avoid prone work (lying on your tummy)
- It is important to tackle any postural issues which may be arising as well as strengthening the peripheral muscles.
The above are all guidelines but it may be that you are able/unable to achieve certain positions/exercises at different stages of your pregnancy. The best advice is always to practice caution, this is not the time to lose weight or increase fitness. You should be concentrating on relaxation, maintenance of health and enjoyment of your pregnancy.
Exercise During Pregnancy
Pre / Post Natal Exercise
0 to 13 weeks/1 to 3 months
27 to 40 weeks/ 7 to 9 months
When To Stop
When to cease exercising during pregnancy