Your third trimester is filled with so many amazing moments! Feeling baby move a lot more, your partner can also start to feel more movements if they place their hand on your baby bump. It can also bring on new aches and pains in places you may never knew existed. Baby grows so fast during your third trimester, your body can have a hard time keeping up.
Moving through pregnancy is such an important aspect to decrease pain and discomfort, help you sleep a little bit easier, and get your muscles & joints prepared for birth. Keep in mind, your body still has a hormone called relaxin in it to prepare your body for delivery; this hormone relaxes the ligaments surrounding the joints in your pelvis. That being said, it is usually best to not push to your muscles end range of motion and hold for too long.
Here are a few movements you can move through to ease some tightness through the hips and low back:
Deep Squat Hold
Ensure you have something in front of you that is STURDY! A chair may not be sturdy enough to use when in the third trimester; you want something you can use to help stand back out of this position. Sink down into the bottom of a squat and relax into this position taking deep breaths.
You can rock gently side to side as well at the bottom - hold as long as you desire.
When getting out of this position:
Inhale, then perform a gentle pelvic floor activation to exhale and use your quads (front thigh muscles) to stand back up. You are holding a very open position for the hips, and this can cause pain when standing back up if you do not activate certain muscles first.
Side Bend with Arm Reach
Seated nice and tall on a stability ball, or chair, reach one arm up and over the head to other side. You should feel a great stretch along the side of the body that the arm is reaching as well as under the arm/armpit area on the same side. Hold for as long as you desire and perform on the other side.
Seated nice and tall on a stability ball, or chair, imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water that you are trying not to spill (yet). You can place your hands on your hips for feedback. Slowly tip your hips forward to "spill the water" out the front of your bucket, then slowly tip the opposite direction to "spill the water" out the back of your bucket. You can also add a side to side movement here.
Half Kneeling Quad Stretch
Drop down into half kneeling (roll a towel or place a pillow under knee if needed). Hips and knees should be at 90/90 degrees and keep hips as level as possible side to side. Squeeze your glutes on the side that is down to increase the stretch down the front of the thigh (your hip flexors). The second image shows a deeper hip flexor stretch; after the first stretch, switch back to the first side and then push forward a bit further to get a different stretch through those muscles.
If lying on your back is comfortable, without getting dizzy or nauseous, you can lie flat on the floor. If you experience dizziness or nausea with lying on your back, prop yourself up about 45 degrees with pillows or a bolster. Add pillows under each knee to prevent you from falling into too deep of a stretch that could cause pain. You want to fell a gentle pull through the inner thighs and be able to fully relax into this position.
Try these out and let me know how they feel!!
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