“At this stage of your pregnancy, place one hand on your stomach when doing abdominal exercises when possible to check for abdominal separation,” says wellness expert Lisa Raleigh. You also want to be mindful of exercises where you lie flat on your back.
While this is safe for a few minutes at a time, don’t maintain this position for long periods as the weight of your baby and uterus can put pressure on the vena cava (a large vein carrying blood to the heart), limiting the blood flow to your body. Lisa suggests propping yourself up on your elbows with a pillow or two to support your back. Roll onto your left-hand side if you feel light-headed or dizzy.
Try these exercises:
Slow mountain climbers
- Position yourself in a push-up stance with a neutral spine – make sure you aren’t arching your back.
- Slowly bend one knee up to your chest, without letting your foot touch the ground. Pause for a moment, then slowly return your foot to the starting position and repeat with the opposite foot.
- Lie on your back, supporting your back with pillows as needed.
- Raise both legs straight up in the air, as close to 90 degrees to the ground as you can.
- Slowly lower your right leg down to just above the ground. Pause, then raise your leg back up to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
- Position yourself on all fours, your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your hips stacked above your knees. Pull your belly button towards your spine.
- Carefully extend one arm and the opposite leg away from your body. Pause for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
- Photography: Hema Patel
- Model: Candice Blignaut
- Hair and make-up: Maria de Vos from One League, Using Evo products
- Clothing: Lorna Jane
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.