Welcome to the Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Third Trimester Plan!

Congratulations on making an exciting investment in your health and the health of your baby. I am thrilled for you and so grateful that you have chosen to prioritize fitness and whole food nutrition during pregnancy.  

Keep this Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Program Guide handy throughout the third trimester. In this comprehensive guide, you will find an overview of our nutrition cycle, a grocery list of approved foods, a section of FAQs, important training resources, and much more.

Please be sure to use the brand new #fitpregnancyworkout program hashtag on your Instagram photos so we can easily find and support you!

Special Notes:

Fitness and proper nutrition during pregnancy is extremely important. In fact, I would venture to say, this is one of the most important times for us to prioritize health and wellness. After all, we have a baby relying on us to consume only the best whole foods, and remain active in order to ensure a successful labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. 

I am so proud of you for committing to a fit pregnancy, and although my program is tough, I know you will absolutely thrive.

But first, a few special notes. I have personally journeyed through three successful fit pregnancies, and although they were each very different, I truly enjoyed my experiences. I want to help you thrive through pregnancy as well and I am so honored that you have the trust in me to guide you along this beautiful journey!

Here’s the deal - there is a LOT of misinformation floating around regarding a fit pregnancy. From the “plank police” on Instagram who tell you never to engage in core exercises during pregnancy which will “cause diastasis recti” to your OBGYN who tells you not to raise your HR above 140 BMP because he hasn’t checked the updated ACOG guidelines in 20+ years … there is a LOT of confusion, generic advice, and myths that I hope to clear up for you.

Through this program, I will present you with three phases of workouts - one phase per trimester.

The phases are as follows

Phase ONE: Phase one will take place during your first trimester. While we can generally maintain the same fitness level as pre-pregnancy during the first trimester, we will consider that you may not be feeling your best due to morning sickness and fatigue. Our focus will be on maintaining our cardiovascular endurance with HIIT and cardio,  strengthening our core, and continuing to increase strength and lean muscle.

Phase TWO: Phase two will be during the second trimester when you will have more energy and also when your appetite is increasing. Although you will be feeling good, this is not an appropriate time to strive for a PR or lose weight. WE will focus on proper nutrition and maintaining our strength and stamina to prevent excess weight gain or common pregnancy aches and pains.

Phase THREE: Phase three will be completed during the duration of your third trimester until you deliver your sweet baby. We will make modifications as necessary while working to strengthen the pelvic floor, prevent diastasis recti, and set you up for a successful labor and delivery. Although it is tempting to trade in the green leafy veggies for the pastries in the third trimester, we will continue to focus on whole food nutrition to provide our growing baby with the best possible nutrients.

Disclaimer:

Check with your doctor blah blah - but know that your doc may be totally misinformed. In fact, through my most recent pregnancy, I had to visit three different providers before finally finding a doctor who was up-to-date on fit pregnancy research and 100% supportive of my active lifestyle. Be certain that your doctor or midwife it up-to-date on the ACOG guidelines. If he or she recommends you keep your HR under 140 BPM, not lift over 20 lbs, or avoid running in spite of your low risk pregnancy, you can be sure that he is not the right doctor for you.

 According to the most up-to-date ACOG guidelines, physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy listed in the ACOG guidelines.

Regular exercise during pregnancy benefits you and your fetus in these key ways:

  • Reduces back pain

  • Eases constipation

  • May decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery

  • Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy

  • Improves your overall general fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels

  • Helps you to lose the baby weight after your baby is born

BEFORE PHOTOS

Take a “bumpie”. This will be a clear way to track your fit pregnancy progress.


CARB CYCLING

WHat is carb cycling?

A carb cycling program is an intentional variation of carbohydrate intake each week. Most carb cycling plans consist of high carb days and low carb days. In all of my programs, I base our cycle on the workouts we will be doing to maximize fat burn and energy levels.

Why carb cycle?

Long term restriction of carbohydrates and calories can lower your metabolic rate and negatively affect your hormone levels. This is a big reason women find themselves at one of those weight loss plateaus. For a short period of time a significantly restrictive diet will bring you results. However, over time it will cause your metabolic rate to decrease. Once that happens you will see your weight loss stop and will need to restrict calories even further to lose more weight, thus lowering your metabolic rate once again. Not only is this a terribly unhealthy way to live, it is also incredibly frustrating.

What does carb cycling do?

Carb cycling allows for planned high carb days that increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. Because you are cycling your carbs, you will also have low carb days that offset your high carb days. With this type of cycle you will continue to see fat loss, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition.

Carb cycling improves insulin levels, helping your body to store less fat. When paired with intermittent fasting and effective workouts, carb cycling can help you break through those dreaded plateaus so you can truly look and feel your very best.

CARB CYCLING IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY?

YES! However, keep in mind that our bodies need carbs for fuel as we are working to grow a baby! You will not be severely limiting your carbs. I suggest you consume somewhere between 100-150g carbs on a low carb day. When I am not pregnant, I consume less than 50g net carbs on a low carb day, but this is simply not my reality while pregnant. Also, if you are dealing with severe morning sickness, carbs may actually help to settle your stomach. Do your best to opt for “clean carbs” and complex carbs like sweet potatoes or steel cut oats.


INTERMITTENT FASTING

WHat is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet, but an eating schedule. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores. People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state. In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss. So, while eating several small meals per day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficits always do), you will likely be losing both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat. You also might become frustrated because you never feel toned and fit, even though you are working out and eating clean.

so, you don't eat?

Not exactly. In my programs we have eating windows, combined with our high and low carb days. We eat all of the time! We simply confine our eating to a shorter window throughout the day, allowing our bodies to enter into the fasted state.

INTERMITTENT FASTING DURING PREGNANCY?

Maybe. Here’s the deal. I do NOT recommend Intermittent fasting during pregnancy if you have not already been practicing this lifestyle prior to conception. However, if you are a former FASTer Way to Fat Loss client of mine or have been fat adapted due to IF for a long period of time, it is OK to continue intermittent fasting during pregnancy. In fact, my OBGYN personally, lost 28 lbs with IF last year and was thrilled to hear I was implementing it during pregnancy. However, she was sure to mention that she was the only doc in my area who of FL who would even entertain a conversion regarding IF during pregnancy since she had personally researched and implemented the lifestyle.

I only did intermittent fasting through my third pregnancy and it was my favorite pregnancy by far. I followed a 16/8 protocol and typically broke my fast around noon and maintained an 8 hour (or less) feeding window. I did not engage in 24 hour fasts. IF kept my appetite at bay and also helped me continue developing lean muscle through pregnancy. Not to mention I stayed healthy through the duration of my pregnancy even in spite of kiddos bringing germs home from school. Ultimately, implement IF during your pregnancy at your own risk if you feel comfortable and are already fat adapted.

 

FOOD CYCLE OVERVIEW

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Low Carb + Speed Burst Day

low carb day food guidelines

  • Your goal is to eat fewer than 100-150 grams of net carbs on this day. Total carbs minus fiber = net carbs.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain an 8 hour (or less) feeding window if you are fasting.
  • Focus on lean protein and fit fats
  • Use my fitness pal to calculate macros
  • Eat lots of leafy vegetables
  • The goal is carb depletion
  • Focus on hydration

low carb day foods

  • What to eat:
    • Lean protein: Fish, chicken, turkey, edamame, eggs
    • Leafy vegetables: Kale, spinach, swiss chard
    • Other vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, tomato, zucchini
    • Almonds, nuts, avocado, berries
  • What not to eat:
    • Fruit with lots of carbs (bananas, apples)
    • Starches: Potatoes, rice, corn, peas
    • Dairy, wheat

low carb day exercise guidelines

  • Speed burst training (SPRINTS)
  • Followed by low intensity cardio. Keep your heart rate LOW (fat burning zone).

 
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Training Day Calories + Leg Day

Leg Day Guidelines

  • Focus on eating healthy foods on the approved foods list.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain a 8 hour (or less) feeding window if you are fasting.
  • Don’t binge or stuff yourself; eat until you are 80% full, not to the point of discomfort
  • Ideally, eat your biggest meal after you work out.
  • If you can’t eat more at any given meal, then graze throughout the day (in between meals) on nuts, fruit or other healthy foods.

Leg Day Foods

  • Gluten-free grains - quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat or oats.
  • Starchy carbs - sweet potato, carrots, beets, parsnips, 
  • Fruit (low glycemic generally recommended), berries, pears, and apples. But for training days, feel free to have any fruit you like including bananas. Great for post workout options.
  • Nuts - almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.
  • Legumes - black beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
  • Healthy fats - avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil
  • Proteins - lentils, beans (kidney, navy, etc.), grass fed beef, free-range chicken, wild fish, eggs, bacon, hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powder.
  • NOTE: If you choose to leave room for discretionary calories/fun foods, this would be the day to do it (ie: donuts). Ideally, you consume the treats immediately after your workout. 

Leg Day Exercise Guidelines

  • Leg workout 1-2 hours before you begin your day or before you have your biggest meal of the day.

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Active Recovery + Regular Calorie Day

REGULAR Calorie Day Guidelines

  • Use the MyFitnessPal app recommendations to calculate your regular calorie day goals.
  • Each time you eat you should at least include protein & fiber (other than the odd apple here or there).
  • At meals, your plate should be: ½ fibrous veggies, ¼ protein, ¼ starchy carbs & oils & fats.
  • Liquid meals: 2 handfuls of fibrous veggies (spinach, swiss chard), 1 palm size portion clean protein (almond butter, hemp seeds), ½-1 handful starchy carbs/fruit & ½ shot of fit fats (flax oil or coconut oil).

Active Recovery Day Guidelines

  • Take the day off 
  • Or engage in a longer duration (1 hour or more) activity or very-low intensity active recovery (walking, biking, etc) that will rely on fat as its main fuel source

Regular Calorie Day + Strength Training

Regular Calorie Day Guidelines 

  • Use the MyFitnessPal app recommendations to calculate your regular calorie day goals.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain an 8 hour (or less) feeding window. 
  • Each time you eat you should at least include protein & fiber (other than the odd apple here or there).
  • At meals, your plate should be: ½ fibrous veggies, ¼ protein, ¼ starchy carbs & oils & fats.
  • Liquid meals: 2 handfuls of fibrous veggies (spinach, swiss chard), 1 palm size portion clean protein (almond butter, hemp seeds), ½-1 handful starchy carbs/fruit & ½ shot of fit fats (flax oil or coconut oil).

Regular Calorie Day Foods

  • Fibrous Vegetables: 2 to 4 handfuls
  • Clean Protein: 1 palm-size portion 
  • Starchy Carbs & Fruits: 1 handful
  • Fats: ½ shot glass (1½ Tbsp) for oils & butter- for nuts & seeds 1 thumb-size serving 

Regular Calorie Day exercise guidelines

  • Full body workout - bodyweight, eccentric or strength
 

 

Important Resources + Training Videos

My Fitness Pal Instructions

If you are new to my programs and are not sure how to set your goals or log your food on My Fitness Pal, please watch this video!

Click here to play video.


program details

Please watch this video with important program details. 

Click here to play video.

Through this program, we will do the following: 

  • Eat the right macros and nutrients, at the right time, for the right reasons
  • LIFT heavy to develop lean calorie-burning muscle
  • Engage in fasted cardio and HIIT/metabolic training
  • Maintain the proper mindset
 

 

Approved Foods

I strongly suggest you live gluten free, grain free, and dairy free as much as possible. I sometimes incorporate fun foods on leg day and use an IIFYM approach. If you are serious about seeing results, stick to this strategy. Use the MyFitnessPal app to calculate your calories.

Focus on whole food nutrition. If the food comes from the ground or has a mother, it’s fair game.

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Food Log

Low Carb Sample Food Log

View these pages for an example of what I eat on each food cycle day. I like to keep things VERY simple.

Remember, on a low carb day, we will break our fast later in the day and maintain an 8 hour or less feeding window. Our goal is less than 50g net carbs.


Low Carb Day Food Log

Breakfast

I will break my fast around noon

2 or 3 Eggs (or protein shake)

Black coffee

Water

Snack

Almonds

Water

Meal 2

HUGE Cobb Salad with low carb toppings

Chicken

Avocados

Cherry Tomatoes

Almonds

Bacon

Mushrooms

Dressing

1/4 C EVOO

2 tsp lime zest

3 Tbsp lime juice

1.5 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Snack

Protein Shake

Water

Dinner

Salmon

Broccoli

Water


Regular Calorie Day Sample Food Log

Breakfast

I will break my fast around noon

2 or 3 Eggs (or protein shake)

Black coffee

Water

Snack

Almonds

Water

Meal 2

HUGE Cobb Salad with low carb toppings

Chicken

Avocados

Cherry Tomatoes

Almonds

Bacon

Mushrooms

Beans

Carrots

Peas

Dates or Strawberries

Dressing

1/4 C EVOO

2 tsp lime zest

3 Tbsp lime juice

1.5 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Snack

Banana and peanut butter

Water

Dinner

Paleo Meatloaf

Sweet Potato

Green beans or brussel sprouts with bacon

Water


Regular Calorie Dinner Ideas

Fish Tacos

Mahi mahi - marinated for 15 min in mojo and baked/grilled. Shred fish and serve in gluten-free tortilla; top with homemade guacamole or just sliced avocado. Shred red and green cabbage and toss with olive oil, vinegar, celery seed and a drop of honey then top the fish with it.

Post Dinner Snacks

Fruit

Veggies and homemade hummus

Almonds

Dates

Roasted chickpeas

Popcorn with nothing on it

Dried fruit

Salami

*The sample food log is simply an example of how I may eat on a given day. It is not a meal plan to follow strictly. This listing is not all inclusive and it is not a prescription diet. If you choose to follow a similar plan, log your food in My Fitness Pal with your desired portion sizes to be sure you are staying on track with macros. Focus on protein and be sure you are not going overboard on good fats. Please post in our accountability group if you have questions about how to form your own personal meal plan or if you have questions about particular recipes, ideas, etc. Clean nutrition and hard work in the workouts is key. Be committed and consistent. Keep me updated on a daily basis and stay accountable for maximum results. 


More Food Log Ideas

Brussel Sprouts w/ Dijon

In small bowl, whisk olive oil, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder until combined. Pour mixture over Brussel sprouts. (I use mustard and spices "to taste" - based on the flavor I want).

Curried Carrots

Drizzle olive oil on carrots and sprinkle with curry powder and salt to taste; roast at 375 degrees for 25-30 min. Stir at least once. Toss w/a drizzle of honey before serving.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Drizzle green beans w/olive oil; roast at 415 degrees for 15 minutes and sprinkle w/parmesan cheese before serving.

Grilled Asparagus w/ Balsamic

Whisk 1 Tbsp. olive and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar; coat asparagus with mixture and let marinate 30 minutes then grill (in foil or directly on the grill); you can also roast in the oven.

Roasted Chickpeas

Toss chickpeas with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt; roast at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Sauteed Artichokes w/ Capers

Use canned artichokes for this. Drizzle olive oil in saute pan, add artichokes and saute until they have brown crispy edges; add a splash of chicken broth to the pan, 1 tsp. real butter, a squeeze of half a lemon and as many capers as you'd like; simmer until the broth cooks down a bit.


Food Log Protein Ideas

Grilled Chicken Salad

Spinach/Kale w/grilled chicken and berries (strawberry/blueberry/dried cranberry) - pecans/walnuts/pine nuts and if you want, 1 oz goat cheese. For the dressing: use balsamic and olive oil, or lime w/olive oil and honey.

Mixed Greens with Tuna

Thinly slice celery, scallions, and mince 1 sweet gherkin to add to the greens and tuna. Serve without dressing. You can also add chopped boiled egg.

Another Dressing Idea

1 Tbsp. dijon/whole grain mustard, pinch of salt, juice of half a lemon, minced garlic, whisk in olive oil (about 1⁄4 c).

Salmon with Sriracha and Lime

Mix juice of half a lime with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 1/2 tsp sriracha and a pinch of salt. Pour over salmon and bake in foil or in a baking dish at 425 degrees for 15 min; top w/chopped cilantro to serve.

Shrimp with Feta and Tomato Sauce

Saute onion in olive oil; add as much garlic as you want (2 cloves is what I use); add 28 oz low sodium diced tomatoes; bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes; add 1/4 c. parsley, 1 Tbsp dill and 1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined); top w/2/3 c. feta cheese; bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes (I serve this alone or over brown rice).

Flavorful, Moist Chicken

Marinate chicken breasts overnight in mojo - grill or bake the next day.

 

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SPECIAL NOTES

Special Notes and Third Trimester Considerations:

 

Please post your questions on our Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Facebook community page. Do not send me a text, email, or Facebook message with questions. It will help others in the program if they see me answer your questions on the Facebook page. It will also ensure that I answer your questions in a timely manner. I check the Facebook page to answer questions and view your updates.

 Our goal through the Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Program is progress, not perfection. Let’s not allow perfect to be the enemy of good. Commit to a healthy lifestyle for the remainder of your pregnancy and focus on making steps toward better health for both you and your baby.


Through the second and third trimester your energy and appetite have likely returned. Do your very best to stay committed to consistent workouts and focus on whole food nutrition.  

I personally enjoyed implementing intermittent fasting during the second and third trimester when my appetite had been a bit out of hand in previous pregnancies. In general, I practiced a 16/8 protocol. I broke my fast around noon and maintained a 8 hour feeding window.

Through the third trimester I also practiced intuitive eating when applicable and increased my macros across the board when necessary. Here’s what I mean - listen to your body. If you are feeling extra hungry in spite of a focus on whole food nutrition, increase your macros/calories. It is not necessary to consume the generic recommendation of 300 or 600 calories more on a daily basis. However, you may feel the need to bump up on your caloric intake especially on strength training days.

While through the first and much of the second trimester you can continue with the same level of exercise intensity you were engaging in pre-pregnancy, you may find it necessary to modify intensity or some exercise movements in the third trimester due to your growing baby bump, round ligament pain, the hormone relaxin, and compromised sense of balance.

 As a reminder, the most up-to-date ACOG guidelines state, “If you were very active before pregnancy, you can keep doing the same workouts.” However, be reminded that it's not necessary to go a million miles per hour every day, all day, and in every area of our lives. Listen to your body and be willing to slow down when necessary -- especially through the third trimester. This is a paradigm shift for so many of us, and if you're accustomed to pushing through a workout "no matter what" it may take a while to get used to a more balanced perspective, especially during pregnancy.

 Consider a walk outside or a low intensity workout on days you are not feeling 100% or are dealing with morning sickness. Your body and baby will thank you later - promise!

 If you engaged in my first and second trimester Total Body Workout Program workouts, you’ll notice that I increase the strength training and cardio through the third trimester with a transition to high volume training (low weight, high reps and high sets). You may find it helpful to use the spin bike or elliptical in lieu of speed burst training outside.

 See below for some helpful tips from the most up-to-date ACOG guidelines:

 What precautions should I take when exercising during pregnancy?

There are a few precautions that pregnant women should keep in mind during exercise:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, a racing or pounding heart, and urinating only small amounts or having urine that is dark yellow.

  • Wear a sports bra that gives lots of support to help protect your breasts. Later in pregnancy, a belly support belt may reduce discomfort while walking or running.

  • Avoid becoming overheated, especially in the first trimester. Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting clothing, and exercise in a temperature-controlled room. Do not exercise outside when it is very hot or humid.

  • Avoid standing still or lying flat on your back as much as possible. When you lie on your back, your uterus presses on a large vein that returns blood to the heart. Standing motionless can cause blood to pool in your legs and feet. Both of these positions can decrease the amount of blood returning to your heart and may cause your blood pressure to decrease for a short time.

 For comprehensive ACOG guidelines and an FAQ, please visit the following website.

 

Special notes regarding pelvic floor:

Pelvic floor is a HOT TOPIC in the marketplace right now -- and for good reason.

 What is your pelvic floor?
Our pelvic floor muscles do a lot!! They form the base of the group of muscles commonly called the core. These muscles work with the deep abdominal and back muscles, and the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to support the spine and control the pressure inside the abdomen. They also support our bladder, womb (uterus) and bowel (colon). The urine tube (front passage), the vagina and the back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles help you to control your bladder and bowel. They also help sexual function. Clearly - it is vital to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong!

If you find that when you cough, sneeze, jump, squat on top of other motions, that you leak or piddle (pee your pants), you have a weakened pelvic floor. If you need to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time, you could have a weakened pelvic floor as well as if you find you can’t fully empty your bladder. It is common to have during pregnancy or after childbirth, but it should not be considered normal and permanent. However, if you do not have these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do pelvic floor strengthening.

When should you start strengthening your pelvic floor?
You should start strengthening and working your pelvic floor during pregnancy, and even before, to help during and after birth! There is no need to wait. Many women suffer from a weakened pelvic floor after birth (among many other reasons) so it is important to start earlier than later.

For pregnant women, pelvic floor muscle training will help your body support the (growing) weight of the baby. Healthy, fit muscles before the baby is born will mend more easily after the birth!

After the birth of your baby, you should begin pelvic floor muscle training as soon as you can. Always try to squeeze up and hold your pelvic floor muscles each time before you cough, sneeze or lift the baby. This is called having “the knack”.

Where your pelvic floor muscles are:
To find  the right muscles that you need to be strengthening you need to perform two moves;
A.) Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs, bum and stomach relaxed. Squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing gas. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your bum.
AND
B.) When sitting on the toilet to empty your bladder, try to stop the stream of urine, then start it again. Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use – but only once a week. Your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream more often than that and we do not want to encourage a UTI by stopping and starting again to often!

Exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor, before and after birth:
One of the most well known pelvic floor exercises is Kegels. This is a simple move of lifting up, holding and letting back down. This moves help with “grip” but is not the only move you should do.
How to do Kegels:
Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your back passage and your vagina at the same time. Lift them UP inside. You should have a sense of “lift” each time you squeeze. Try to hold them strong and tight as you count to 8. Now, let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of “letting go” and relaxing completely.
Aim to 3 sets of 8-12 reps. If you can not do that many, just do as many as you can.
Do this daily while lying, sitting or standing or even while going to the bathroom (this is what I do which gives me even more bang for my buck). Remember to keeping breathing, only squeeze and lift and do not tighten your bum, stomach or thigh muscles.

Also, do not tuck your bum (tighten muscles continually) underneath you while standing, this will not help you pelvic floor and can actually weaken them and keep your head aligned properly with your neck. Those who tilt head forward often have a weakened pelvic floor.

Other exercises that are also extremely beneficial and should be done include: Squats, glute bridges, bird dog, dead bugs, seated single leg raises, wall push ups, modified planks (knees on ground and leaning on a table or chair) and standing balance work on the bosu or balance disc. Having proper posture, with the curve in your back is also critical. We do not want to be hunched over all day long!

If you start to do an exercise and start to have any incontinence issues, stop the exercise instead of pushing through it and move onto a different move! Also, if you feel your pelvic floor is not improving, speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

Special notes regarding diastasis recti:

Ah, yet another hot topic. Diastasis recti has become increasingly “trendy” in recent years, and I believe that many women are mis-diagnosed (especially those who are self-diagnosed), but nevertheless, it’s vital to discuss this important topic.

Diastasis recti is most common in women who are over 35, deliver a high birth weight baby, or have a multiple pregnancy. It's usually most noticeable right after delivery. Believe it or not, it also occurs in middle aged and older men with abdominal obesity.

DR indicates a bulge in the middle of the belly. It might be noticeable only when the abdominal muscles are tense, such as during coughing.

 Treatment includes physical therapy. In rare cases, cosmetic surgery may be done to reduce the bulge.

 So, how we prevent DR? In the second and third trimesters, avoid “coning” which can cause or exacerbate symptoms of DR. You should also avoid “coning” immediately postpartum. You will NOT see any ab circuits in my second or third trimester plan that include crunches, sit-ups, or other ab moves that would cause coning. In fact, I believe there is little place for crunches even in those who are not at risk for DR

 Through the Fit Pregnancy program, I provide approved core circuits or exercise moves that will stimulate your core including standing ab exercises.

 Here are some additional tips:

  • Always roll to your side to lay down and to get up instead of laying straight back which typically always creates coning towards the end of pregnancy.

  • Avoid planks in the second and third trimester if you have been officially diagnosed with or have a history of DR.

  • Engage/activate your deep core muscles during workouts and remain cognizant of proper form.

  • Ask your doctor or midwife to check for DR at your 6 week check-up so you can adequately determine a postpartum exercise strategy plan.

 

Special notes regarding Braxton Hicks (false labor contractions):

Braxton Hicks -- a subject I have a LOT of experience with. I had more and more Braxton Hicks with each pregnancy and they started earlier weight each pregnancy as well.

 For me Braxton Hicks came on when I was dehydrated, my bladder was full, I was active, or had sex -- pretty much those things describe my entire life so Braxton Hicks were inevitable and pretty constant.

For me, Braxton Hicks started in the second trimester, especially after a workout, but they were stronger in the third.

 Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they are a preparation for the real event and allow the opportunity to practice the breathing exercises taught in childbirth classes.

Braxton Hicks are described as:

  • Irregular in intensity

  • Infrequent

  • Unpredictable

  • Non-rhythmic

  • More uncomfortable than painful (although for some women Braxton Hicks can feel painful)

  • They do not increase in intensity or frequency

  • They taper off and then disappear altogether

 If you follow the nutrition plan and focus on adequate movement, you will maintain a fit pregnancy and enjoy the benefits through the third trimester and postpartum.

I am so honored that you have the trust in me to guide you along this beautiful journey!

 

XOXO,

Amanda