Second Trimester Yoga Tips: Keep Tummy Time for the Kids
Ah, the second trimester.
Less fatigue (maybe), more excited phone calls and Facebook posts (perhaps), no more nausea (ideally), additional energy (I hope?)… you might even think about having sex again.
Even if you’re not feeling completely relieved by now, the “second third” section of pregnancy is, indeed, noted as the most blissful of all three — with most women reporting less discomfort, a renewed sense of well-being and an overall feeling of normalcy compared to the first 3 months.
If that’s not you…first, hugs. Then, warmest e-wishes for a more wonderful time soon. Finally, I encourage you to enjoy a super-restorative yoga practice until it passes.
But if the description above is you, WOO!
It’s time, to get back into the exercise swing of things and resume that more physical part of your prenatal yoga practice!
When you’re practicing in your second trimester, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Your growing belly will start to add weight to the front of your body, potentially making balancing more difficult and straining your lower back. Twisting is still of concern. Relaxin is in your bloodstream, full-force, making your joints more susceptible to overstretching.
One of the primary points to remember, though, is to avoid laying flat on your belly.
During the first trimester, laying on your stomach — whether sleeping or in cobra pose — isn’t much of a concern for yoga mamas. As your baby grows, though, it’s important refrain from putting unnecessary weight and pressure on the little bean. And don’t even think about throwing in a backbend or two (say, bow pose), as you’d be adding force, too.
If you’re in a yoga class that is incorporating a lot of “adult tummy time,” be sure to tell your instructor that you’re pregnant and ask if (s) is famliar with any appropriate modifications. If you need to pull some from your own yoga pants pocket, though, here are a few substitutions:
- Instead of traditional chid’s pose, take wide-knee child’s pose, which is just as easy as it sounds. Float the big toes together, separate the knees apart towards the sides of your mat to make room for your baby, and gently float your torso to the floor, extending your arms out in front of you as usual.
- In a sun salutation-based practice, instead of your “knees/chest/chin to cobra pose” sequence, do modified chatarunga using your knees (i.e., “girl pushups”). Lower only as much as you’re comfortable, but don’t let your shoulders dip down past your elbows. Or, sub cat/cow pose here. Be sure to keep your lower back neutral in cow pose to avoid aggravating swayback/lordosis — your growing belly’s already arching that area enough already!).
- Skip sphinx pose, bow pose, locust pose or any other posture that involves tummy time. Instead, during that time in the class, try seated heart openers. Sit in a seated position with comfortably crossed legs and a tall spine, and clasp your hands behind your back (if they don’t clasp, no prob — just grab opposite elbows). Roll your shoulders gently up and down a few times, soften your ribcage in, and lift your heart to get a backbend. This will help you achieve benefits of the other poses without stressing out your stomach.
Keep these ideas in mind, and you’ll be on your way to an active and awesome second trimester with your little one!
Please note that this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. If you practice yoga throughout your pregnancy, it is recommended that you work with a qualified and certified prenatal yoga teacher. Always consult your health professionals for guidance on what’s best for you and your baby.