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.|
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.