Pregnancy Posts: Trimester Three November-January

I have been writing these throughout my pregnancy with all it's up and downs as I know finding other pregnant athlete blogs really helped me.  So hope this helps some of you through your pregnancy or coaching. If you want to read from the start scroll down to my first post on Trimester 1.

Trimester Three (November-January) 

I actually felt fitter later in my pregnancy and loved being able to ski
                                                                 Photo: Andrea Heath

Time flies when you’re feeling good! Despite gaining 25 lbs I feel really good in general and while exercising and the stress of month 3&4 feels like it was from a different pregnancy. I am back to being able to push pretty normal watts for aerobic rides after having watched them plummet and I feel really comfortable cross-country skiing. The round ligament stretching of trimester two has disappeared making me more comfortable too. I am still training at lower than pre-pregnancy volume and intensity level because I don’t want to push to that point of fatigue, but with 13-15hrs a week activity (ski, bike, strength) compared to a normal winter's 18-21) I feel like I have a really strong base to build from postpartum. Ladies full disclosure I entered pregnancy really fit, I don’t have to go to work outside of training and volunteering and don’t have a toddler at home so I have time to train and recover optimally, especially on those sleepless nights. I also feel comfortable and know this isn't always the case! If you are pregnant and exercise fairly regularly after work you are a true Rockstar and if it is just too much you are still a Rockstar.  Pregnancy is an experience you just don't get till you're there!.

With Covid I chose to do a home gym routine with lots of squats, lunges, stair step ups and upper body weights.  Most core had to be modified, but I found cat cow and bird dog helpful for back health.

I have felt comfortable both skill and fitness wise maintaining xc skiing and biking throughout, but choose not to fat bike or DH ski because, for me at least, they have a higher fall risk. I haven’t noticed a change in my balance though and never felt like the baby was pushing against my lungs so this helps a lot. Definitely my ribs get poked, a lot, but for the most part I could handle normal meal sizes without heart burn and had room to breathe while exercising, but yes did go pee pretty much every 40 min while exercising. I started going to a pelvic floor physio pretty early which has also helped me remain aware of my posture for back health. That combined with staying active I think has gone a long way to not having back issues. Sleep has gotten harder, both because my brain seems to be more activated, my legs more restless and prone to cramps at night and baby loves to stretch and move around as I am trying to fall asleep. You are also encouraged to sleep primarily on your left side so less ease and options for sleeping can make my muscles uncomfortable. I am sure I will crave these restless but mostly full sleeps soon!  .

As my delivery date gets closer it’s harder to wait to meet our baby, but I'm enjoying some couple skis before the big lifestyle transition and I’m trying to prepare myself mentally and physically as best I can for labour and postpartum recovery, not to mention how to care for a baby! The final month is a funny time where I suddenly had the FOR REAL realization that I was transitioning from being a pregnant athlete to a mom! It still feels surreal to be able to grow a human, but definitely looking forwarding to meeting our little one soon.

Face close up!

Because there aren’t a lot of real world resources out there for what women are actually doing. This is what my pregnancy looked like. Again I have time to recover around training but also had to take some significant time off so this is just an example of what my pregnancy looked like, not what an active pregnancy necessarily should look like. Your experience will be your own.

My 273 days of pregnancy training (approx. 450 hours) started with pretty normal volume followed by a big time off during months 3-4 and then getting back to feeling good and gaining fitness again right up to delivery, My base fitness was great but I didn't do the real high intensity and volume that would take me back to pre-pregnancy levels.

On average I did 11hrs a week including the 6 weeks of 0-4hrs.  I aimed for consistent daily activity over a more typical 3 week training build and recover.  I wanted to finish each week with good energy.  I also never restricted calories.  My first goal was to give my body and baby what it needed to be healthy and this means fuelling before during and after activity.

My weight gain was not linear.  I gained a lot in second trimester and then had a slow increase in 3rd.  HRV was on average lower.  Whoop had no "hey I'm pregnant the load is higher" option!

For trimesters 1 & 2 click below