A question I get a lot is about exercise during and after pregnancy. First, always talk to your physician or midwife for your individual medical needs. Here are my general guidelines for exercise during pregnancy and after baby is born: (walking is great throughout)
First trimester: baby is protected by your pelvis. You can continue your usual exercise. (Of course avoid activities where you might fall) If you have ‘morning’ sickness (or evening, or all-the-time) then allow your body to deal with that. You’ll have to decide if rest or light exercise (i.e., walking) will feel better to you that day.
Second trimester: now baby has grown above the protective pelvis, so it’s time to cut out fall risk activities. Sorry, no skiing (I snowshoed instead) no horseback riding, no bicycling, etc. I did hiking, swimming and prenatal yoga. Second trimester is also your last chance to strengthen the abs, which you’ll need during labor/delivery.
Third trimester: sorry, can’t do ab crunches anymore- the abdominals are stretched so much that it’s inappropriate to ask them to repeatedly contract for exercise. Now baby is pressing up and restricting your breathing and you are probably feeling bigger than ever. Swimming and prenatal yoga is what I did. You don’t have to swim, you can just walk in the water. Everyone at the pool smiles at you. I even met a lifelong mommy friend at the pool when we were both pregnant- now our kids are in the same classroom! The buoyancy holds the weight of the baby so you feel like yourself while you’re in the water. Got Swelling? The hydrostatic pressure will reduce it and you’ll emerge from the water like yourself! See the tendons in your feet again! Worried about overheating your core while working out? The water will keep your core cool while you work out. It IS the ideal place to be during 3rd trimester. I know it’s a lot of time, inconvenience, swimsuit, etc. but once you get in the water you’ll regret not going sooner!
Good luck! Keep moving! (Mommies who do regular, moderate exercise during pregnancy have on average, 2 hours less labor!! And lots of other benefits!