This week I am 15 weeks so I thought I would share the changes between 12ish-15 weeks so far! My doctor asked that I try to not lay on my back for extended periods once I got into my 2nd trimester. Therefore, I have switched things up during a few exercise classes. Anytime I am required to lay on my back, I take a step bench and put risers under one side so its diagonal and place a mat on top. I lay with my head more elevated and my bottom down lower. I use this position anytime we lay on our backs and use weights for arms or when we do abs.
As far as ab exercises go, I am much less afraid to do them lately. I was so weirded out by the thought of squishing the baby when I first got pregnant, but after talking with my friend Sarah and with my doctor, I've realized its perfectly fine to do abs and encourage because a strong core helps with delivery and helps your body get in shape quicker after. I do not do certain "straining" ab workouts per the doctor's request. I just make sure whoever is teaching my class knows that I am pregnant or I watch other pregnant women in the class for tips. Some things I avoid are full sit-ups, reverse crunches (where your legs are in the air and you lift your butt up and push your heels toward the ceiling), major twist type work, or ab work when we are in a sitting position, feet and arms off the floor, and you lean back as your legs extend keeping them from touching the ground. I am also still doing plenty of plank exercises & push-ups, until I develop more of a belly that would hit the floor!
When a class calls for laying on your stomach and lifting your legs and arms to exercise your back, I make modifications there as well. I still think its very important to work your back as its part of your core. Instead I go to tabletop position where I am on my knees with my hands directly under my shoulders and I lift my opposite arm and leg straight out at the same time.
Now that I'm 20 weeks I thought I would do another update as I've really started to develop more of a belly. I want to mainly touch on yoga because not a whole lot else has changed since 15 weeks. Make sure you always tell your teacher, especially if you aren't showing significantly yet, so they are able to watch you and tell you necessary modifications. If you do yoga, you notice that there are some times where you are flat on your back. I modify these exercises the same way I mentioned above. I bring a bench and risers into the yoga room and set it up next to my mat with another mat on top (I typically try to set up next to one of the walls so I'm not distracting!). I do all laying on my back exercises on the incline.
As I mentioned above as well, twists are not suggested during pregnancy as they can result in separating of your ab muscles. There are a lot of twists involved in yoga (even including laying on your back and letting both legs fall to one side). I always make sure to never go too far or strain, and really just take these easy all together. Another thing is upward dog or cobra type exercises where you are really stretching out your core. This is not advised as it can have the same result. I just very mildly do these and never put my hips all the way to the ground to avoid that strain. I'm going to look into some prenatal yoga classes around where I live in the next month probably!
I'm now 28 weeks and starting my 3rd trimester! Really there weren't too many changes between 1st and 2nd beyond no twists or laying flat on your back. The most important thing is to listen to your body and keep yourself hydrated. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and am looking forward to hearing what she has to say going forward. I'm not sure if abs need to stop now or if I just need to start using the stability ball, etc. etc. Just very happy that I still have enough energy to excercise! I highly suggest getting yourself into a regular workout routine prior to getting pregnant if you can. I just kind of continued with it and it hasn't been too difficult. I really believe its made me feel a lot better during the whole pregnancy...and its great for the baby too!