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Training While Pregnant – the 3rd Trimester

My glorious belly at 36 weeks!

Pssst! Remember – I am not a medical practitioner. This post is in no way meant as a substitute for medical advice. Check with your OB, midwife, or doctor about training throughout your pregnancy to ensure the safety of you and your baby!

Oh Dear Dangler, now the fun really begins!!! The bad news is that this trimester can be tough – you’re heavy, might feel uncomfortable, and pee whenever you sneeze. BUT – take heart! You’re almost there, and will finally meet the prankster who’s been tap dancing on your spleen for the past few months.

You’re Enormous – Embrace It

  • Your boobies are gigantic. Seriously – they’re huge. You’re sporting about 3-4 lbs of extra breast tissue! Enjoy those gorgeous curves!
  • You feel heeeeeeeeeeavy. Baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, larger breasts and uterus, extra fat stores, and increased blood and fluids equal an extra 25-40 lbs of fabulousness! It doesn’t help when your trapeze partner starts yelling, “Thar she blows!” whenever you walk into a room.
  • More frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. They feel a little funny, but shouldn’t hurt.
  • Backache fun! As those hormones relax the joints in your pelvis, your back gets to pick up the slack. But here’s the great news – your back is so nice and strong from doing aerial work, you may avoid this issue completely! Those abs you thought were ruined (they’re not) are also lifting and holding that baby up, sharing the load with your back. You are a badass!
  • Shortness of breath! Girl, there’s just no more room in there for your lungs to expand like they used to, so while you’re hauling around an extra 30 lbs, you’ll be huffin’ and puffin’ like a choo choo train. This is not an indication that you’re somehow getting “less fit”, it’s just crowded in there!
  • Heartburn! Your sweet behbeh might now be pushing your stomach out of position, resulting in stomach acid creeping up where it shouldn’t.
  • Swelling up like a balloon! Also, spider veins, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. There are tons of extra fluids you’re body’s dealing with, so your veins are working overtime. Pressure on your intestines may also slow down your digestion, resulting in some (ahem) “straining”. Don’t do that. Make friends with prunes.
  • Peeing every 30 freakin’ minutes. Also? All that pressure on your bladder may cause you to leak urine when you laugh or sneeze. One word: KEGELS! Again, aerial work to the rescue! You very likely have a nice, strong pelvic floor since you’re used to keeping everything (and I do mean everything) tight in the air. Continue to keep those muscles nice and vise-like by doing Kegel exercises – the vaginal workout of champions!


Thar she blows!

How It Affects Your Training

    • Heavy – you’ll move and work more slowly and deliberately. This probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: now is the time to stay nice and close to the ground so you can dismount quickly and safely when you need to. Remember – training should feel GOOD and be safe!
    • Bump in the way – it’s kind of hard to avoid now! Work around it as best you can. Wrap things from the floor, and see what kind of variations you can create! You may find something really wonderful!
    • Balance wonky – don’t underestimate how off-kilter you may feel right now. Your body proportions have changed RAPIDLY, and you need to work slowly and consciously. For myself, I actually had phenomenal balance while I was pregnant – I think having more in front helped to balance out what was already in back!
    • Remember to breathe! Timing your breathing to your movement can help here (arm up – inhale, wrap around – exhale, etc).
    • Stay active. Staying physically active during a normal, healthy pregnancy is GREAT! Helps move all those fluids around, keep your weight where it should be, keep muscles toned and gorgeous, may improve chances of an easy delivery, and will make you feel great!


Here are three exercise videos I loved during pregnancy – I found most to be so ridiculously easy it was laughable. These (especially the Steben videos) are total butt whoopers! In case you don’t know, you can see the Steben twins in the Saltimbanco Cirque du Soleil video  – they’re the swinging trap duo.

  1. The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Volume 1 (weight training)
  2. The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Volume 2 (yoga based)
  3. 10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates

And now, I leave you with my gloriously pregnant student Charlotte enjoying some stretch time on silks! It’s worth noting that Charlotte has been training with me for years, and has a fantastic sense of her capabilities and limitations while pregnant. Assess your training with your coach, and play it safe!!!! Love and pull-ups, Laura


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5 comments on “Training While Pregnant – the 3rd Trimester”

  1. margaret dunn Reply

    That is truly a marvelous way to stay fit during the pregnancy. It looks like a tremendous amount of effort is required , but the movements if they can be done are gentle and beneficial for total fitness in advanced pregnancy.

    Back and abdomen muscles are strengthened to ease the pressure the weight gain usually puts the greatest strain on,

    It is just magnificent to see what aerial training is doing for Miss Charlotte.

    Much happiness and success to all in the aerial program.

  2. Sarah Reply

    That is a really fabulous video, great work! I’ve really enjoyed this series on training while pregnant, my partner and I will hopefully be trying for a baby in the not too distant future. I’m a fanatical (amateur) aerialist, and I’d been really worried that I’d lose all my hard work on the silks and be totally back to square one. It’s great to see that you can still keep your strength throughout a healthy pregnancy – I’m looking forward to the article on getting back in the air after! 🙂

  3. Alicia Reply

    Just coming back to this post after having my munchkin 2 weeks ago. This is my second child — I had my son before I took up silks, and my daughter earlier this month, after staying on the silks until the end of the 2nd trimester. Since I am a personal before- and after-silks experiment, I will just say that you really can tell the difference in ab strength while having your baby! All those strait leg V-ups make delivering a munchkin much faster. Understanding body control makes it easier to focus on the right muscles too. three cheers for aerial babies!

    I am also looking fwd to your post on getting back in the air afterwards.

  4. Todd Reply

    I don’t know about anyone else,but I just LOVE to see a pregnant woman in a two-piece bikini especially when she looks as AMAZING as you do at 36 weeks!!!You do indeed have a most GLORIOUS belly and I THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for sharing it in a pic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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