If your practitioner has cleared you for exercise during this pregnancy, there are still some body changes that you need to be aware of before you work out. Again, you may be feeling the best you've felt all pregnancy, but keeping these body changes in mind will help alleviate potential injuries down the road.
Center of Gravity
During the second trimester, your center of gravity will begin to switch. It's something so subtle you are unlikely to detect much of anything. However, some women do report feeling a bit more clumsy at this point than before they became pregnant.
This is the time to give up high heels, walking on stilts, and anything else you might do that requires a lot of balance. For your exercise routines, this will mean you need to be constantly aware of your footing. Wear sensible shoes to avoid slipping and falling.
Do not exercise in stocking feet, or even walk around the house if you can help it. Always use the hand-rails when you take the stairs. Use good body mechanics when getting up or down from sitting or lying positions. This is particularly true of places where falls are more likely, such as the pool or bathtub.
Lying on Your Back
It was a long-held belief that pregnant women should not lie on their backs after the 16th week of pregnancy. The theory behind this was that after this point in pregnancy, the uterus was so large that lying on your back decreased the blood flow from the vena cava (the main vein running down your posterior side) to the uterus and your baby, also lowering your blood pressure and affecting blood flow return from your legs.
Does sleeping on my back put my baby at risk?
Maternal supine hypotension syndrome can occur while sleeping on your back. The good news is that most of the time, you would wake up upon feeling these symptoms, even in your sleep. Generally, you're not even aware of why you awoke; you just naturally change positions and go back to sleep.
This condition, called maternal supine hypotension syndrome, was never truly studied until recently. When the studies were done, it was found that many women didn't actually experience any of the symptoms of complications. This has led the medical world to believe that short periods of exercise on the back during the latter trimesters are perfectly acceptable if you do not suffer from maternal supine hypotension syndrome.
Signs for maternal supine hypertension syndrome include:
Shortness of breath
Passing out (extremely rare)
If you experience any of these while lying on your back, simply roll to your side until you feel you have recovered.