Kristina Martemucci, a personal trainer in Binghamton, NY, with her newborn daughter Fina.

Final stretch!  This time during pregnancy is probably the most challenging due to the fact that your body has changed and continues to change and expand in ways you wouldn’t think possible.  It’s not so much the general size, but what that size and physiological change does to the body.

Physically, movement itself becomes more of a challenge.  Getting into a proper set up for specific lifts takes more time and adjustments, it’s really important at this time to focus on form so as not to put unnecessary stress on joints and negatively impact your mechanics.  I significantly lowered my load to adjust to the added load in my midsection.

Physiologically you may experience frequent urination, heartburn, fatigue, hemorrhoids, and cramps all of these (go without saying) will greatly impact your ability to perform in the gym to the level you were once used to.  It’s important to keep this in mind and allow yourself to make those adjustments needed to not only make yourself feel good about what you are doing but also for the health and well being of both you and your baby.

I was in the gym up until the day I delivered and it was well worth it.  I felt strong and confident about what my body was about to go through.   Keeping active, keeping up with resistance training, keeping up with eating well, getting sleep, and taking time for yourself to unwind will provide that strength and confidence both mentally and physically to take on the most intense workout of them all, childbirth.

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