I'm no Paula Radcliffe but I do like to run. I have been getting a lot of comments (and/or horrified expressions) when I tell people that I am running while pregnant. I love to run and the thought of going a whole nine months without running is unfathomable. While Paula Radcliffe, elite marathoner, ran throughout her pregnancy and actually ran the morning that she gave birth, I have no delusions that I will make it to 40 weeks running. I just wanted to put some information out there that will hopefully educate people a bit about running (and exercising in general) while pregnant.
information pulled from completerunning.com
- Exercise reduces the risk of preterm delivery Source: HealthDay News
- Running during pregnancy reduces fatigue, nausea, constipation and lower back pain Source: Act Now BC
- Maternity exercise may help prevent gestational diabetes Source: Science Daily
- Maternity fitness contributes to shorter labor & less delivery complications, including fewer C-sections Source: BabyZone
- Moms to be who exercise also have less swelling of extremities Source: runningskirts.com
Benefits to the Baby:
- A regular pregnancy fitness regimen better prepares baby for transition from womb
- Pregnancy running increases blood circulation & placental efficiency
- Running while pregnant also increases newborn baby’s capacity to self calm & self quiet
- Regular exercise decreases baby fat without decreasing normal growth
- Cardio fitness leads to increased blood flow from placenta which supplies nutrition & oxygen to the fetus
- Mommies who run have increased fetal movements, which studies have shown leads to quicker development of oral language skills
- Source: *Clapp III, James F. Exercising Through your Pregnancy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1998.
Some safety precautions I do follow:
- I drink plenty of fluids - which can cause many bathroom breaks.
- I monitor my heart rate and/or breathlessness. I make sure to maintain a conversational pace.
- I have cut back on my running quite a bit. Before finding out I was pregnant, I was running 5 days a week and averaging about 30-40 miles a week. I am now running 3-4 times a week averaging 14-18 miles a week. I also now take plenty of walk breaks.
- I have a support belt that I wear on about half of my runs now...I can see the need for it to increase as the belly grows. I am hoping that it will help stay away from muscle strains and/or hernias or other scary pregnancy related maladies. Bleah.
I am sure general discomfort and/or the inconvenience of having to go to the bathroom every mile might make me stop earlier than I would like but until then BabyGirl and I are going to keep plodding along.