Where has the time gone?
I can’t believe I am nearing my due date already! This pregnancy has blown by so fast! I guess that’s the difference between pregnancy number one and number two! Chasing a toddler around really makes the days go by so much quicker!
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for me!) there isn’t a lot to report from my second trimester! It was everything you hear the 2nd tri to be, sleeping better, no more nausea, started feeling baby kicks (the best!) and the anatomy scan at 19 weeks!
I also visited a pelvic floor physiotherapist during my second trimester this time. That was a new experience, and something I wish I had done during my first pregnancy! It was like a tune-up for my core and pelvic floor. I’ve seen both of the physios at The Downtown Sports Clinic in Calgary, and I cannot recommend either of them enough. I saw Hilary this time, and she is equally as knowledgeable as Kristen and just as supportive of keeping women as active as possible.
I initially made the appointment because I had started having some SUI (stress urinary incontinence) as well as some heaviness, and I am happy to report that after following Hilary’s recommendations, the frequency of leaks has decreased dramatically, and only ever happens when I’ve been slacking on my physio exercises.
One thing that has snuck up during second tri and continues now is swelling. Oh the lovely water retention in pregnancy. I believe this is part of the reason I was having heaviness. Yes, swelling down there. Luckily, I have found a solution – regular epsom salt baths!
I cannot recommend epsom salt baths enough, to everyone, but especially to pregnant women! I mean, baths in general feel great on the pregnant body. The buoyancy of the water helps relieve some of the general aches and pains, and the heat can sooth sore muscles. I find for myself the epsom salt (magnesium) helps release some of the water causing swelling everywhere and I feel lighter after I get out. Plus, the magnesium absorbed can help prevent or lessen leg cramps that often plague pregnant mamas.
Throughout the 2nd trimester I was able to continue working out. Early on, I had written myself a basic strength training plan that included a lot of core exercises to keep connected with those muscles and help minimize my diastasis recti. Now, this did not by any means, prevent a DR, I definitely have one! And some studies suggest that 100% of women have some degree of abdominal separation by the time they reach 35 weeks pregnant, so I am by no means surprised. I had a separation with my first baby, and I have one now. Though I do feel a lot more connected with all of my core muscles because of the intentional training I’ve done throughout pregnancy.
Late into my 3rd trimester, I am noticing a few things that I wasn’t really mindful of the first time around. I’m finding it easier and easier to ‘forget’ about my pelvic floor. It has remained easy to keep my transverse abs engaged, but my PF have a tendency to ‘turn off’ and I have to consciously recruit it, which I as regularly as I can! I have continued my PFPT exercises throughout, but I find if I miss a day or two (hello, pregnancy brain) then it becomes even more difficult to connect with those muscles when I return to them. I believe this illustrates why women need to see PFPT and learn how to contract & relax those muscles consciously, so when the heaviness of a full term pregnancy takes hold, she can still recruit those muscles when needed, and they will be easier to connect with postpartum.
When it comes to my prolapse, it really hasn’t bothered me at all since after seeing my PFPT months ago! Though, from what she said this is common, as once the uterus becomes large enough to rise above the pubic symphysis, it pulls the tissues up and a lot of women report a relief of symptoms in later pregnancy. Headed into labor and birth, I hope I can use all I’ve learned from PFPT and my own experiences to minimize any worsening of the prolapse. I just hope I’ll be able to heal it all up again like I did the first time around!