Fit at 40 Weeks: Benefits of Exercising Through the Third Trimester

Movement during the entirety of a pregnancy can help maintain and increase muscular tone, reduce risks of common pregnancy discomforts, and prepare the body for an easier and more comfortable labor and delivery.

Breaking a sweat in your THIRD trimester has big benefits for you and your baby too. If you’re exercising after 28 weeks, it’s going to benefit you and your baby and her are some ways how…


In the Healthy Start Study, scientists worked with 826 moms finding that the moms who were more active through third trimester exercise gave birth to babies with less fat mass than those who exercised the least.1 Babies born at healthy weights are less likely to be obese later in life.

For mom, exercise can help with maintaining healthy weight gain throughout the entire pregnancy. In the third trimester, women gain weight at a more rapid pace than their first and second trimesters (about .75 pounds per week), a fitness routine can help to keep you putting on only the necessary pounds for baby’s health. Other common physical changes that occur in the third trimester of pregnancy include shortness of breath, incontinence, edema, vascular spider veins, and varicose veins all which can be alleviated by regular exercise.


Another study, The Be Healthy in Pregnancy (BHIP) randomized controlled trial links the physical activity of mothers during pregnancy is positively associated with infant bone mass at birth.2 This is huge, because being born with optimal bone mass can have long-term benefits of lowering the risk for osteoporosis later in life.


Physical activity in the right exercise program will allow mom to stay strong and comfortable.  Continuing to exercise in the third trimester, as the baby continues to grow, will promote a healthier body as you make your way toward your birthing day. A regular routine will help you to decrease and/or avoid back and sciatic pain, ease constipation and hemorrhoids, keep muscles relaxed and loose, and continue to correct muscular imbalances.


Staying active during pregnancy may reduce chances for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, both of which more commonly present in the third trimester. As mom continues to get her heart rate up later in pregnancy it will help protect against these. In addition, staying active, being fit and healthy is known to reduce your chances for a cesarean delivery.3

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