Saturday, May 26, 2012

Running while Pregnant

I finished a 5 mile run this morning with my favorite running partner. It was wonderful.

My average pace of 11:53 min/mile is a far cry from my pre-pregnancy pace of around 9:30 min/mile.  But, I am totally ok with that. I just want to run.

My running partner.
My running addiction started sometime in high school. While my frequency, intensity, and dedication has waxed and waned over the years, my love for this hobby has not.  I am honestly addicted.  Perhaps it is the release of endorphins or the sense of accomplishment that makes it impossible to imagine a life without running.

I am blessed that my husband, midwife, and obstetrician are supportive of me running during pregnancy. In fact, the doctor and midwife encouraged me to continue, despite my history of miscarriage. I did mostly brisk walking up until about 9 weeks, the point in which I had passed my previous miscarriage risks. After that, I was told, "Go for it, but just listen to your body."

Right now, those I see on my route can't tell I am pregnant by looking at me. But, I am anticipating the stares I will get as my belly begins to grow.

Of course, many well-intentioned individuals have advised me that I should "just walk." They don't bother me; I know they mean well. And, I realize I seem a bit crazy to be so adamant about continuing running, especially with my history. But, I knew exercise was not causing my miscarriages; I did not run during those pregnancies. I also knew that I wanted to enjoy as normal of a pregnancy as possible instead of one filled with worry and anxiety.

Research regarding running while pregnant shows interesting benefits:

  • Mom is healthier
  • Reduces preterm delivery
  • Reduces pregnancy symptoms like nausea, back pain and swelling
  • Shorter labor and fewer delivery complications, including C-sections
  • Increased placental efficiency
  • Increase newborn ability to self-soothe 
  • Greater fetal activity, which is linked to quicker development of oral language skills.

Don't worry, I have no performance goals for running while pregnant. I am not trying to improve my time or distance.  I am not training for a  race (though, I wouldn't be opposed to one, for fun, of course). I will walk if I feel winded.

My only goal is to keep lacing up my running shoes for as long as I am able. I believe my body, health, sanity, and baby will benefit.


  1. Awesome! Sounds great! I know if will help ou to feel better, and more energetic throughout the rest of pregnancy, and I'm sure it will help you bounce back energy and body wise, with ease. Go girl!

  2. I wish I could have done this while I was pregnant! I guess I could have, but I let the sickness and fatigue get the best of me, and let my lazy side take advantage of all the advice I was getting to rest....

    Good for you for trying to stay healthy for someone you love (da bebe), while also doing something you love!