Also, the cat/cow stretch that Ianita described is a good one for taking tension off the low back. You don’t need to tighten your abs, especially at the end of your pregnancy, to get the stretch through the muscles along the length of the spine.
Here’s a pretty good visual.
The way I cue these poses is to lead each movement from the tailbone. Inhale, lifting the tailbone up, which tilts the pelvis forward, which then encourages the spine to follow, flowing from the low back, to the middle back, to the neck, up to the crown of the head. Feeling is loose and relaxed. Heart comes open and forward slightly, but not with force.
Exhale, drawing the tailbone down, which will tilt the pelvis back, then flow through the spin until the middle back floats up and the crown of the head tilts down. You might be able to feel them, but there is no need to pull in the abs tightly during pregnancy (some variations of this pose, people exhale as much as possible and draw the belly button up to the spine)
First and foremost, check with your doctor, because every woman and every pregnancy is different. Especially if you have health conditions or you have special pregnancy considerations, don’t skip this step.
Janet gave you an excellent list. Here is what I would add to it.
1) Avoid exercises lying prone on your stomach after the first trimester.
2) In addition to not getting over-heated, stay hydrated.
3) Work at a pace where you can breathe with relative comfort. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, neither is your baby. The old standard was to keep the heart rate below 140 beats per minute, but that was for my AFAA exam a little over 12 years ago.
4) Particularly in the end of pregnancy, your ligaments and joints will begin to get more flexible so that the pelvis can expand to give birth. Be mindful of that when stretching – you’ll be more flexible than usual but that also means your joints will be less stable.
Congratulations! I was very healthy going into my pregnancies, even though of “advanced maternal age,” so I was able to maintain fitness classes through 38 weeks with baby #1 and 36 weeks with baby #2 (she came early).
Hi, now I`m on the last month of pregnancy. Till 8th month I have done some easy exercises which helped me to deal with the spine pain and heavy belly. But!!! Before starting I`ve consulted with my doctor. So the exercises are following:
1.Get down on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart, keeping your arms straight but not locking the elbows.As you breathe in, tighten your abdominal muscles and tuck your buttocks under and round your back.Relax your back into a neutral position as you breathe out.Repeat at your own pace, following the rhythm of your breath.
2. Sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other (sit on a folded towel if that’s more comfortable for you)Gently press your knees down and away from each other, but don’t force them.Stay in this position for as long as you’re comfortable.
Don`t forget to make them slowly and to enjoy. If you feel you are tired you should interrupt it immediately.