Training While Pregnant – the Second Trimester

Mmmmm….pickles…..

Congratulations – your head is probably out of the toilet and your boobies don’t hurt so much! HOORAY! There are LOTS of major changes in this trimester which will make your training super creative. And flatulent – did I mention the farting? Let’s talk. You sit over there, please.

Note: I am not a medical practitioner. This post is in no way meant to substitute for medical advice. Check with your doctor before attempting or continuing aerial training of any kind while pregnant.

The Golden Trimester

For many women, this is by far the most comfortable trimester of pregnancy. You’re probably not throwing up, the crazy has died down a bit, and you may feel a renewed sense of well-being. But the BEST part? You finally get to tell everybody!!! It’s about to get harder to hide. Here’s why:

  • Larger breasts – VA-VOOM! Shock and Awe are in the house! You’re gonna have yourself a spectacular rack.
  • Baby bump! By month 4 (earlier if this isn’t your first pregnancy), you can kiss your skinny jeans goodbye.
  • Baby movements – This was the best part of pregnancy for me! One day, you feel a little flutter, or a pop like someone is popping popcorn in your tummy. Warning: you will almost die of excitement. 🙂
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions – Your uterus likes to be prepared – it’s training too! These contractions are your uterus toning up for the big day.
  • Nasal congestion – Snot fest. Enjoy.
  • Dizziness – Your blood volume is increasing by 50% (!!!). WOW! Thanks to that, you may find you have some dizziness here and there as your blood pressure tries to normalize.
  • Leg cramps – Yup. They’re a party.
  • Shortness of breath – You’re having to oxygenate A LOT more blood, so don’t be surprised if those stairs leave you more winded than you think you ought to be.
  • Hilarious flatulence – Blame it on the dog, ladies!
  • Loosey-goosey joints – All that Relaxin in your system can give you a rockin’ split, but make joints a little loose.
  • Just a little less crazy – Your hubby or partner can put the sharp knives back in the kitchen! Your emotions (while still topsy-turvy) are a hair more stable now. Enjoy it while it lasts.

How Your Training May Change

  • Time to officially tell your instructor! All of my pregnant students found creative ways to “tell me without telling me” during the first trimester (“I’m not feeling well, I’m going to take it easy for the next few weeks” for example). If your instructor doesn’t “hear” you, remember – you have a big responsibility to keep yourself safe and healthy right now. Listen to your midwife/OB, and especially to your body. Now is the time to be conservative!
  • As the bump grows and you get heavier, certain moves eventually just don’t work (inversions/straddle-backs for example). Your work will naturally get lower and lower, which is as it should be! Let your body determine what moves to focus on, and get creative. Training should feel good – this is NOT the time for strain and pain!
  • If you find yourself getting AT ALL light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately. This happened to me when I would quickly go from upside down to right-side up. When I slowed my movements, it went away. HOWEVER — dizziness has no place in aerial arts. If you find this is a regular maternal symptom and not just a random one time thing, it’s time to take a break from training and pick it back up in a few months after the birth. Don’t worry – aerial arts will still be there in a few months!
  • You’re more winded now, so stamina is not going to be your thing. Ease up, and focus on technique with one or two moves, rather than stringing a bunch together.
  • Fart with exuberant abandon. People forgive pregnant women anything.
  • I have really tight joints, so the loosening didn’t faze me much. BUT, some of you have loose joints to begin with, so you’re like spaghetti when you’re pregnant! Proceed with an eye towards keeping your joints (especially shoulders) WELL within an easy and stable range of motion. Now is actually a great time to start working on building stability in your joints using a thera-band or light weights.
  • “High impact” aerial pursuits such as flying trapeze will need to be tabled, often as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. But hey – didn’t you say you always wanted to try static aerials?

 

It’s also good to ask your coach if they’ve ever taught a pregnant student, and if they have any education or training for doing so (for the record, yes I have, and yes I do! I’ve been an ACE Certified personal trainer for the past eight years, with continuing education credits in pre and post-natal exercise).  It’s absolutely essential that you keep talking to your midwife or OB about your training (it really helps if they’ve had experience with athletes or circus performers in the past). Modify, modify, modify! Your training should be safe, and really feel good. If you’re having a “vanilla”, healthy, low risk pregnancy, physical activity is ‘da bomb (and ups the chances of you squeezing back into your pre-pregnancy leggings). Happy farting dangling! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

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6 comments on “Training While Pregnant – the Second Trimester”

  1. Charlotte Reply

    That’s a HUGE jar of pickles!!! Hooray for staying active and safe during pregnancy!!

  2. Jessica Reply

    Hi. Thank you so much for this post. I just found out that I am pregnant, and I am apart of an aerial training company. I have been freaking out assuming I have to stop all together, but your posts give me a little hope. You mentioned avoiding inverting and flying trapeze in the second trimester, but what is your experience with inverting, and pull-overs in the first trimester? I realize I may have to stop performing, but I would like to continue teaching. Assuming I have a vanilla pregnancy as you put it (ha ha), can you suggest movements that I should avoid all together? I work with lyra, trapeze, and silks.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Congratulations, Jessica!!!!! 🙂 I had no problems with inverts or pull-overs in the first trimester, but your body will be completely different – you may invert for 8 months, or for two. For me, my body let me know REALLY quickly what I could do safely and what I couldn’t (again – not a time to push limits). Avoid anything that hurts, involves impact, or feels weird, and definitely chat with your doctor/midwife so they know what you’re doing. With summer coming, also keep an eye out for overheating – it’s of particular concern for pregnant women. I can’t suggest anything for you because of the potential liability (:(), but I CAN tell you about my personal training guidelines!

      – if it didn’t hurt, feel weird, seem stupid, or too difficult, I did it
      – my favorite exercise which I did throughout was the “zip up” where I pulled my navel into my spine. This obviously got progressively difficult, but until the day I delivered I was able to lift my whole belly.
      – pull-ups – modified as needed – helped tremendously
      – 10 minute Pilates for pregnancy (google the DVD) was fantastic. Also check out the videos by the Steben twins.
      – when teaching, keep it low & use student demonstrators as needed. This is a great time to get really good at your verbal cuing!

      I hope that helps! I wish I could give you more guidelines, but every body during pregnancy is truly so different. Rest a LOT (you’re growing a person!), and remember that aerialists come back stronger from pregnancy all the time. Keep me posted – I would love to hear how the journey is for you!!!! 🙂

      • Jessica Reply

        Thanks again!!! You are very kind, and appreciate your tips and guidelines. I will work closely with my doctor to stay safe and listen to my body. This is an exciting time for sure! Yesterday I tried a few inverts and sequences slowly to test the waters. So far so good. Thanks for helping me see the potential to still teach. It s a great time to hone my cuing. I love your blog, and I will stay tuned in to what you have to say. Take care…love and pullups!

  3. Sarah Reply

    Hey Laura! I’m currently pregnant and this is very useful. I was lucky enough to be able to carry on pretty much as normal (minus drops) through the first trimester, but now I’m well into my second and I’ve eased off a lot, not doing any inverts any more. My big fear is causing abdominal separation by training incorrectly so I’m erring on the side of caution. Did you have trouble with that?

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