As I approach my due date I'm finding it more challenging to stay active in the same way I used to with my 3 year old.
I'm usually a very hands on, rough and tumble kind of mom and my belly is a barrier from doing most of what we used to do. Thankfully daddy fills the rough and tumble gaps well!
But I still want to stay active with our daughter for as long as possible before baby comes to show her I'm still the mommy she loves and who loves her.
So we've had to come up with other ways to safely stay active with her.
Our daughter is a big snuggler and LOVES to be held. She clearly senses change is coming as she wants to be held even more lately. Of course lifting and carrying a 35 pound kiddo for as long as she would like is not the greatest on my back or pelvis.
It puts a lot of pressure into my pelvis, which can increase risk of hemorrhoids, prolapse and pelvic pain. It also strains my back if I don't pay strong attention to my posture and the use of my inner core, which can increase the risk if diastasis recti, incontinence and back pain.
To compromise whenever she needs a snuggle I sit (chair or couch) or kneel down on the floor so she can nuzzle in. She's getting great at molding around my belly. And on the off chance she really needs me to pick her up I put all my effort into doing it with good body mechanics, posture, alignment and muscle support.
Here are some other tips for staying active with your older children:
Take a walk. At the moment if you live near me, this may not be an option due to the freezing temperatures, but getting outside for fresh air and a brisk walk (even at a toddler pace) is a great way to get the heart pumping, while bonding with your kiddo.
Get down onto hands & knees to create space for baby, relieve back ache and strengthen your arms while letting your kiddo crawl under and around you. My daughter thinks it's hilarious to crawl on her belly under me like a snake.
Sit on a couch cushion or firm pillow when you play on the floor. Open up your hips by sitting up in neutral pelvic posture with long legs out front in a slight V. Then hinge at your hips to bend forward. This feels amazing and is a great way to gently stretch your hips and pelvis preparing for birth while playing with your kiddo.
Have a dance party! You can pick the pace of music to sway your hips to. Keep it comfortable and have fun. Feel the rhythm in your body, use your inner core to support yourself as you rock and roll your pelvis over your hips, which is a great way to get baby into position while boogieing with your kiddo.
Keep a sense of humor, be creative, and don't be afraid to modify, while respecting how your body feels in the moment, that's how I get through the day with my daughter.
If you want to learn more about good body mechanics, proper posture and using your inner core during the third trimester I'm inviting you to check out my signature program, Expecting Pelvic Fitness 3rd Trimester Package.