This third and final installment about caring for a body pregnant with twins is all about the balance of rest and exercise. I was consistently active through my first trimester, but I’ve definitely slowed down over the past few weeks. Moderate exercise is recommended during a multiples pregnancy (walking, yoga, swimming, etc.) for women who are not already high-performance athletes. As someone who was not training for a marathon pre-pregnancy, I have stuck with the moderate, low-impact recommendation. So far, that’s meant walking a few days a week and stretching daily. As sidewalks become slippery and snow-covered, I know I’ll need to look for some indoor options to replace walking outside. The Y has an indoor track, and I have already started compiling some prenatal yoga videos to keep this body moving through the winter.
Natalie likes to follow the “Baby Yoga” poses from a book gifted by her yogi godmother as part of her bedtime routine, so she and I typically settle in for some mutual stretching time around 6:30 each night. My back has that familiar ache I remember so well from my third trimester with Natalie, and a good long stretch is one of the only things that provides some relief. Luckily, Mike is game for the only other form of relief I’ve found so far–a nightly massage. I’m sure that pretty soon I’ll be investing in a maternity belt to help take the strain of my growing bump off my lower back, but I haven’t quite succumbed to that phase yet.
Other than a brisk (ha, not so brisk these days….) walk and light stretching, I am mostly listening to my body’s cry for rest. Exhaustion has taken over in full force since about 19 weeks, and I usually yawn my way through my 5th period class each day. My middle schoolers have been pretty tolerant of my need to sit at the end of the day, and I usually come home for a nap (or at least to lie down) by around 4 o’clock. When I shared that my body is feeling more and more wiped out with my OB, she smiled and said, “Oh, that’s going to get a lot worse.” I’m not sure how much more tired a pregnant body can feel, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I’m following my doc’s advice to listen to my body and rest, rest, rest, even if it means I’m not following much of an exercise plan.