Pregnancy Fitness 3rd Trimester & Month 9

So I’ve learned something during this pregnancy. Month 9 should be its own special category! My body has changed significantly in this final month and its totally not fair to lump month 9 of my fitness into the 3rd trimester category. So to continue from my previous Pregnancy Fitness post, I will do the first part of 3rd trimester and then Month 9 (about weeks 36-40)

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Third Trimester

Weight gained: a whopping 25.5 lbs! Bringing my total weight gain to 41 lbs!

Pregnancy symptoms:

    • Groin pan- especially when doing 1 legged balancing type movements
    • Calf cramps
    • Still had extreme hip pain after sleeping on my side
    • Acid reflux
    • Heartburn

Diet:

  • Food Cravings/Aversions: SUGAR!! I definitely went through a bout of eating pretty crappy, non-paleo, junk consisting of either fast food or packaged cookies and soda. Additionally, I hosted thanksgiving at my house so we ate pumpkin pie for a week straight following the party. 😉
  • Moderate carbohydrates- same as 1st trimester eating rice, white and sweet potatoes, but with the introduction of pumpkin since the season hit
  • Moderate fruit intake- bananas, apples, pineapple, tomatoes
  • High veggie intake- Okra, carrots, onions, cabbage, lettuce, green beans, garlic, zucchini
  • High protein- chicken, beef, pork, eggs, still disinterested in fish
  • Moderate/high fat intake- avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee
  • Water- 3 liters a day

Fitness:

  • 3-5 days a week
  • 20-45 minute workouts
  • Exercise types- interval training (not so high intensity anymore, and I really started to enjoy circuit training where I could set my own pace), strength training, zumba, yoga
  • Modifications:
    • Yoga- I avoided deep twists, backbends, and stomach down movements. All my stances got very wide leg and I cut out a lot of single leg strength poses (like 3-legged dog). I used yoga blocks a lot to support forward folding poses
    • Zumba- Yes I taught Zumba up to my 36th week! I took out the jumping and bouncing movements and did the lower impact version while cueing my class to do higher impact if they wanted.
    • Interval training and circuits- the nice thing about these is that they are based on time. So I did the same amount of time as my class (yep still taught these classes too), but my repetitions reduced
    • Strength training- I cut out any abdominal work that wasn’t in the form of a plank (i.e. sit ups, roll ups, crunches, boat pose, v-ups). Also, I cut out lifting weights and focused in body weight movement (I had an extra 40lbs…. That was enough additional weight for me!). And push-ups became either kneeling or box push ups.

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Month 9 (weeks 37-40)

Weight lost: That’s right, I said lost! Occasionally, pregnant women in their final weeks will start to shed their water weight. I lost 3 lbs during weeks 39 and 40 bringing my total weight change to 38lbs.

Pregnancy symptoms:

    • Groin pan- less so than in the earlier part of the 3rd trimester. Not sure if my body just got used to it, or if I naturally changed my movements so as to not cause it
    • Calf cramps
    • Heartburn
    • Still had extreme hip pain after sleeping on my side
    • Peeing all the time- the baby’s head dropped down into my pelvis. The upside is that I could breath a little easier. The downside is that I needed to pee all the time or felt like I needed to whether I did or not.
    • Swollen feet- so I only had this for about 4 days, but ugh! Moms who have to deal with swollen feet for longer, my sympathies go out to you.

Diet:

  • Food Cravings/Aversions: Thank heaven my junk food cravings subsided. Occasionally I wanted sour foods (I added lemon to my water) and I wanted cold stuff, but I think that mostly had to do with the weather being around 100 degrees mid-day without A/C.
  • Moderate carbohydrates- rice, white and sweet potatoes, and pumpkin
  • Moderate fruit intake- bananas, apples, pineapple, tomatoes
  • High veggie intake- Okra, carrots, onions, cabbage, lettuce, green beans, garlic, zucchini
  • High protein- chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and fish finally came back
  • Moderate/high fat intake- avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee
  • Water- 3 liters a day

Fitness:

  • 3-5 days a week
  • 20-45 minute workouts
  • Exercise types- interval training, strength training, zumba, prenatal yoga, and I added swimming and walking
      • Prenatal Yoga- I started doing yoga classes off of YouTube designed for third trimester prenatal yoga since it started to get too complicated to modify a regular class to fit my needs. I continued to use yoga blocks for support during different poses.
      • Zumba- I was no longer teaching, but I was still doing videos at home doing a low-impact, no bouncing version. Being as big as I was, I wouldn’t have wanted to attend classes if they had been an option since I would probably make the instructor nervous or I would be too much of a spectacle. Trust me, watching a 9 month pregnant woman do Zumba is definitely hilarious!
      • Interval training and strength training- Lowered amount of repetitions and I moved a lot of my exercises to a standing position. I used a TRX for the majority of my workouts and occasionally the stability ball. It was absolutely wonderful to do push ups on the TRX, use it for rows, etc. HIGHLY recommend it for those final months of pregnancy!
      • Swimming- We don’t have a great lap swimming pool, but I was able to recall my moves from my water aerobics classes back in the day, as well as just get some time treading water. The pool was fabulous and totally cured my swollen feet issue! (The hydrostatic pressure in the pool allows your fluids to redistribute like they’re supposed to).
      • Walking- So I know this is supposed to be the thing for pregnancy, and though we got some good 2.5-3 mile walks in, I couldn’t keep this up for long because being a pregnant white girl in Uganda turned me into the pied piper. :-/ I got tired of drawing a crowd pretty quick, so I mostly got my cardio in with Zumba. If you live somewhere where you can walk without causing a ruckus, I recommend some good power walks.

And that’s it! I’m writing this days, or hours away from going into labor and hoping this might give some of you a good picture of what fitness looked like for my pregnancy. Do keep in mind that everyone’s bodies are very different, so wht you can or cannot do might look different and that’s OK! One thing I’ve learned is that pregnancy is a great time to practice grace. Grace for yourself especially; allow your body to do its thing and give yourself permission to push forward or pull back as you need.

Hoping to write up some postpartum fitness as it comes! See y’all on the other side!

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