I know this is a BIG question that comes up a lot, about laying on your back during pregnancy.
While, yes, some women should avoid laying on their backs into their 2nd & 3rd trimesters, most are perfectly ok too for short periods of time. Your doctor should tell you if you can’t, mostly would be more high risk pregnancies, you are probably not exercising anyways.
I have to defend my reasoning for throwing in a couple of back exercises in my Prenatal DVD’s. For the average healthy fit pregnant female you CAN lay on your back for short periods of time here & there. Try keeping it to no longer then 5-10 minutes at a time. Your body will tell you if it’s time to get up, such as you’ll feel nauseous, dizzy, etc. For myself and many of my clients we all love the short relief you can get from just a couple minutes on your back doing some hip exercises. Which can feel great on your low back by the way.
Even my Ob Gyn supports it for most women! “You are absolutely right in the advice you give. Short periods on your back are generally fine. It is only a problem if a pregnant uterus inhibits return of blood to the heart. If so, a patient may feel nausea, etc. Once they adjust their position, the symptoms resolve. There are no long term harmful effects to mom or baby.” – Dr. Gigi Kroll
Note: Once into your 2nd & 3rd trimesters roll to your side & use your arms to help you get up to avoid overusing your rectus abdominals. I’m finding this can really help minimize ab separation.
If there’s ever an exercise you’re just not comfortable doing when pregnant the simple answer is “don’t do it”, sorry to be blunt but that’s that.
If you’re up for an exercise lying on your back I LOVE these hip rolls, trying keeping your range of motion in your back as long as you can. This can help those low back aches & pains. Movement is an amazing thing for the body, especially during pregnancy! I can’t tell you the amount of times my pregnant clients come in not feeling that fab but leave feeling amazing! Or my mom’s who workout with my Prenatal DVD workouts.
Focus on articulating one vertebrae at a time up & down, moving slowly. You should feel your glutes, hamstrings, and deep core muscles working here.
Repeat 5-10 reps then roll to your side to get up or move onto some side lying leg exercises.