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Pregnancy fitness in the three trimesters


Posted by Cags R under Fitness & Training on 21 June 2013 at 11:00 PM

Expecting a baby, whether it's your first or fifth is a different experience for every woman. It's common to be apprehensive about what exercise you can do to maintain your fitness during your pregnancy. That's why we've asked pregnancy fitness expert Lorraine Scapens to help!

Lorraine Scapens is the founder of Pregnancy Exercise, she has more than 20 years experience training pre and post natal clients and has put together 3 amazingly helpful guides, one for each trimester of pregnancy:

First trimester pregnancy fitnessPregnancy Exercises First Trimester  - your attitude to pregnancy fitness should be the same as any approach to fitness - it entirely depends on your regular level of activity. If you live an active lifestyle, getting pregnant doesn't mean you have to stop all exercise, but you may have to make some changes. 

As any mum-to-be will tell you, the first trimester can be like having a 24/7 hangover without enjoying the party!  If you're suffering severely from morning sickness and general nausea, you may want to step back your exercise intensity.

The hormonal changes in the first trimester will be the biggest challenge to your activity levels, rather than physical changes to your body.

Take the Challenge for Pregnancy - first trimester workout which was created by Oh Baby! Fitness 

Pregnancy Exercises Second Trimester - contrary to what you may have assumed, it is actually easier to stay active in your second trimester than your first. Your body has adjusted to the changes going on and you'll be less fatigued.

 Lorraine says "it is not unusual for exercising mums to not look pregnant until well after 20 weeks" - check out some of her ladies in training:

Take the Challenge for Pregnancy - second trimester workout which was created by Oh Baby! Fitness 

Pregnancy exercises in the third trimesterPregnancy Exercises Third Trimester - this is the period during pregnancy when you will have the biggest physical changes to your body, if you feel you can exercise then there are many benefits to doing so.

You are more likely to feel tired in the third trimester but here are a few reasons why it's worth exercises up to your due date:

  • Can reduce labour time by up to 2 hours
  • Reduces the stress on your baby during labour- your baby has adapted to the good stress of  exercise so he/she is less stressed during labour
  • Reduces the need for medical intervention by 30%
  • Reduces the chance of a ‘C’ section by 30%
  • Prepares you physically and mentally for labour
  • Increases how quickly you recover post birth
  • Exercise pre and post pregnancy has also been shown to reduce post natal depression

Pregnant runner

So how about running when pregnant? Jen Dugard of Body Beyond Baby has written up this great guide on Running during pregnancy.

Her 5 key points she addresses are:

  1. Pelvic Floor
  2. Pelvic Instability
  3. Exertion
  4. Over-heating
  5. History of running

The most important thing covered in all these guides is self-awareness - are you comfortable with the levels of activity? Listen to your body and remember that this is not the time to be striving for a new PB! 

If you are expecting a baby, join the Pregnancy Fitness Tribe to get support and advice from other Tribesports Mums.

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    Speaking from experience, I ran well into my first pregnancy, and then walked during the last few months. I was brisk walking and housework the day before labour and as soon as I got home from hospital with babe in a sling across the chest. This I preferred to a pram. When I went to see a GP, not my regular doctor, a week after delivery, he wouldn't believe that I had just given birth. Exercise and breast feeding is the key. Now after 3 children I am fitter than ever :)


    I trained throughout my first pregnancy, walking, gym, swimming, yoga etc and had a good pregnancy and labour, giving birth to a healthy boy! I always recommend exercising to my pregnant friends and relatives, because of the mental effect as well as the physical effect it will have on you, all positive of course! I also wore Fittamamma clothing, specialised maternity sportswear instead of wearing a band to support my bump. Highly recommend this clothing line they are brilliant, supportive and attractive!

    Cags R and Adrian K encouraged this.

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