Fit Pregnancy: 37 Weeks Pregnant & Counting

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Hi Everyone!

I am so far behind in my Fit Pregnancy Posting! I have posted a list of my workouts from Weeks 34-37. I normally write workouts on my calendar, but a lot were missing, so I used my Fitbit Tracking to re-list the workouts as best I could.

I do know, that there are plenty of Squats, and Pelvic Tilt Wall Sits that are not listed in there. I have also been doing Lunges and Kegals. The pelvic floor is far more complex than most people would lead you to believe. You need to do a variety of exercises to support it: Kegals, Pelvic Tilts, Transverse Abdominal Engagement (pulling the muscles inward and together while still being able to breath-this is what I mean during every core exercise when I say “Keep Your Core Strong” or “Engage Your Core”), Squats and Lunges. I do Plie Squats in multiple positions and focus on transverse ab engagement, tucking the pelvis, and feeling the pelvic floor lift every time you squeeze into the standing position.

I have been far more tired the last few weeks, and napping a LOT more. I should probably call it sleeping instead of napping, because I am averaging 1.5-1.75 hours of sleep every time I lay down for a nap. My nights are more restless, so I think I am making up for some of the interrupted sleep.

I am still working full time as an Occupational Therapist. All of my patients ask me when I am leaving for maternity leave, and I am still planning to work up until delivery day.

Below you can find my Activities & Workouts for the past few weeks, plus a general update on how I’m feeling!


One of my maternity photos.

Pregnancy Feelings


Still no crazy cravings! The craziest thing that I have eaten was a hamburger. I don’t like ground meat, and rarely eat red meat, so this was very weird for me. In general I am still craving a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Zoodles, Fresh Fruit & Whipped Cream

Zoodles, Fresh Fruit & Whipped Cream

Still using Organic Coconut Oil + Lotion daily and making sure I stay hydrated. Working on my skin from the inside and outside!

It fluctuates a lot. Sometimes I feel totally normal, and other times I am exhausted. As I mention, I am napping a LOT more the last two weeks or so.

Great! Overall I am feeling really good. Nervous at times for all of the major life changes headed our way, but excited to meet our baby. Jesse’s co-workers have asked him many times if I have gone “crazy” yet, and I am happy to report he is still saying no! Our wedding/family photographer gave us several gifts at my baby shower that brought tears to my eyes, but other than that still feeling happy and even keel.

Body Image:
Feeling good! I still love being pregnant. At times my belly feels huge, and at other times I look at it and feel like it’s very compact. Since I have made it this far without stretch marks on my stomach I am really hoping to make it to the end. It’s not something I want to focus on too much because there is nothing I can do to control it. If I get them I am going to do my best to embrace them.

I am also mentally preparing for life/body immediately after birth. My muscles will be stretched, my stomach and uterus swollen and stretched, and I will be retaining fluids. I imagine that going from having a hard round baby belly, and a previously strong core, my body is going to feel and look very different. I am not going to rush my recovery, so I am already anticipating the body changes and healing process until I am cleared to workout again.
Baby’s Movements: 
He is still super active! Check out this video I posted on Instagram (@BenderFitness) of him moving around.

Almost done! We officially have a crib, bookshelf, dresser and changing table. We have a bassinet. We hung up new blinds, and decorating is almost done. I will be sharing photos of the finished product (maybe today!)

Nervous about the big changes headed our way. It’s strange not knowing when Baby Bender will make his appearance. I am nervous about some of the physical aspects of labor. The word episitomy makes me cringe, and I am hoping to avoid interventions during my labor/delivery. My baby hasn’t dropped at all, and I have narrow hips, so I am somewhat fearful that he isn’t going to fit, but I remind myself that people far more petite than I am deliver babies naturally all the time.

MD Visit:
I skipped the cervical check for Week 37. At week 36 I had no progress/dilation, and it seemed pointless to have another check, as you can be dilated or not for weeks at a time. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything in relation to your onset of labor. Baby has not engaged at all, and is still high in my belly. On the plus side this means that running, sleeping and walking around is still comfortable for me, because there is no extra pressure on my bladder. Baby’s heart rate and movements are strong, and my DR is very pleased with our progress so far.

I can’t wait to meet our baby! At the same time I enjoying these last few weeks where it is just Jesse and I. We love our life together, and I am sure that having a baby will add to that, but I will definitely miss the dynamic and intimacy of it just being the two of us. So while I am anxious to meet our little guy, I am enjoying each and every day of quality time with my husband up until Baby Bender makes his debut.

Week 33 Update:

Week 34:

34 Weeks and 6 Days Pregnant!

34 Weeks and 6 Days Pregnant!

My Workouts:

Sunday: 50 kettle bell swings: 100 high knees: 30 minute walk

Monday: 2 Mile Run (20 Minutes) + 20-Minute Walk

Tuesday: 23 Minute Walk

Wednesday: 3.28 Mile Run (10:36 Average Pace per mile)

Thursday: Elliptical 21-Minutes

Friday: 3.35 Mile Walk

Saturday: 3.5 Mile Walk

Week 35:

My Workouts: 

Today we got outside. My sister, Kristen, and I went for a 4.75 mile walk with her dog. Jesse ran 10 miles, and my brother in law paced him on his bike during the run.

Today we got outside. My sister, Kristen, and I went for a 4.75 mile walk with her dog. Jesse ran 10 miles, and my brother in law paced him on his bike during the run.

Sunday: 4.75 Mile Walk with my sister.

Monday: 20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout: Third Trimester

Tuesday: 4.05 Mile Walk

Wednesday:  30-Minute Walk

Thursday: 20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout: Third Trimester

Friday: 5-Mile Walk with Nicole, Kristen & Olivia

Saturday: 4.44 Mile Walk + Baby Shower Day!

Just finished a 5-mile walk with these lovely ladies! I love staying active with family and friends. 35-weeks pregnant and feeling great! #BenderFitness #fitpregnancy #fitpreggo #northpark #babyboy #family #friends #healthylifestyle

Just finished a 5-mile walk with these lovely ladies! I love staying active with family and friends. 35-weeks pregnant and feeling great! #BenderFitness #fitpregnancy #fitpreggo #northpark #babyboy #family #friends #healthylifestyle

Week 36:

36 weeks pregnant

36-Weeks Pregnant

My Workouts:

Yoga in the Square: Downtown Pittsburgh Free Yoga Event

Yoga in the Square: Downtown Pittsburgh Free Yoga Event

Sunday: 60-Minute Yoga Class Downtown with Nicole + 4-Mile Walk

Monday: 20-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout: Third Trimester + 40-Minute Walk

Tuesday: 3.5 Mile Walk

Wednesday:   3.37 Mile Walk

Thursday: 33-Minute Walk

Friday: 2.5 Mile Walk

Saturday: 3.5 Mile Walk

Week 37:

37-Weeks Pregnant

37-Weeks Pregnant


Sunday: 2-Mile Run (9:57/mile average pace) + 1.5 Mile Walk

Monday: 30-Minute Walk + Workout Below;

20 pelvic tilt X2

Single leg STS 20 per leg

First Position Plie X20

2nd Position Plie X20

Seated Heel Slides X20

Side Plank 60-seconds per side

Reverse Plank 60-seconds

Split Squat: 10 per leg

Tuesday: 30-Minute Walk

Wednesday: 3.35 Mile Walk

Thursday: 30-Minute Walk

Friday: 3.5 Mile Walk

Saturday: 3.5 Mile AM Walk + 2.5 Mile PM Walk

Sunday: 2.01 Mile Run (9:56 min/mile pace, 20 Minutes) + 1.3 Mile Walk (22 minutes)

2-Mile Run + 1.3 Mile Walk at 37 Weeks, 5 Days Pregnant.

2-Mile Run + 1.3 Mile Walk at 37 Weeks, 5 Days Pregnant.

Enjoy & Thanks for all of your support!


PS You can find me on Instagram & Twitter: @BenderFitness and on Facebook:


10 thoughts on “Fit Pregnancy: 37 Weeks Pregnant & Counting

  1. Leah

    Melissa, just a bit of encouragement… I am very petite (5’3, 107 lbs pre pg), have no hips whatsoever, and delivered a 9 lb 1oz baby four weeks ago (they estimated her weight at 7 lbs!!). This was done naturally and without medication and no episiotomy, which I know is what you are hoping for. It can be done! You will be amazed at what your body can do. I stayed active the whole pregnancy (doing your workouts!) and was just able to do my first HIT workout with you yesterday. I assume you will recover even faster being in as GREAT of shape as you are. You are awesome, and you will do awesome! Congrats to you and thank you for all you do!

    • benderfitness

      Thank you!!! That is just what I needed to hear. 🙂 Congratulations on your daughter! Welcome back to the world of HIIT. I can’t wait to re-join you there. 🙂

  2. Marina

    You are so close!! I can’t wait to see pictures of your little boy : ) I think you will do fabulous with the delivery too. You are so strong already and have maintained being fit this whole time, plus this is your first pregnancy. My baby was over 8lbs and I am 5 ft. I was convinced that I wanted to experience a natural birth, and I did! To my surprise just days after delivery, I felt slimmer than I had pre-pregnancy. I had my second son just 15 months later and did not have such luck, but I don’t think my abs were as strong as they had been the first time. I love your updates, and good luck these last few weeks.

  3. Your posts always made my day. I cannot wait until the day we meet Baby bender. I’d be speechless due to overwhelming joy =^.^= I had that same black line in the middle of my belly when I had my son. I wasn’t as active as you and Leah though. I have narrow hips too, and being 159cm tall, I was 75kg at the edge of my pregnancy. I sleep a whole lot! I think I slept most of the times during my pregnancy. He was 3.85kg at birth. I was in labour from 6pm until I was finally pushed to the cesarean table at 2am! I had no episitomy because I was perfectly dilated, but my son just couldn’t get through my hips 🙁 I requested for Epidural Anesthesia and was awake when he was delivered. It was the greatest moment in my life to finally see him after waited for more than 9 months! 🙂 That was back in 2006 🙂 I am your follower since 2014 and I love your workouts. Thank you for all that you do, Melissa and Jesse Bender.

  4. KM

    You look amazing, you are so neat! You will sail through labour, you are used to insurance and breathing techniques so it’s just like another big workout-you might even enjoy it!?! It will all be worth it when you get to cuddle your little man!

    I’m loving your updates and hoping that in the future I can follow your workouts if I get pregnant.

    I was wondering if you could recommend any of your workouts that are slightly less intense as I’m considering cutting back a bit to try and get pregnant but don’t want to stop exercising as I really enjoy it!

    Good luck with everything, keep us updated! X

  5. Liesl

    You will do great! Being athletic and strong helps a ton!! I’m smaller, 5’2″ but muscular, 122lbs pre-pregnancy, and I had such a quick labor and delivery with my first son. Four hours exactly from the time contractions started until the time he was born. Also, I never really dropped much until the very end, so don’t worry, I carried high the whole pregnancy. I’ve heard that people that have a strong core carry higher. 🙂
    Enjoy your long naps, I’m 20 weeks into my second pregnancy and there is not much napping that happens with a toddler in tow. It’s hard to workout and maintain strength with this pregnancy as well, but I’m trying and hoping for the best. Love your site and your workouts. Thanks for being such and inspiration to so many!

  6. Rhonda

    Hi guys, I just saw your pregnant ghost buster belly, ha, very funny. I think he was doing burpees in there. I know you’ve already delivered, but I just wanted to say, did he come out and start running? With both fitness pros as parents, I’m sure he did. Anyway congrats, although I’m month’s late on this, all summer I was taking care of my sick mom, so I haven’t been following you guys as much, but hopefully I’ll be back on track soon. Take care and I hope you’re getting some sleep! You guys rock!

    • benderfitness

      I hope that you are back soon, and I hope that your mom is doing better. Taking care of a loved one is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. It’s wonderful that you were able to do that for your mother.

      Maverick is definitely a strong baby! I have no doubt he will be running in no time!

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