Female runners who become pregnant can continue to run during pregnancy – with some modifications to their routines. Many women wonder if running will harm the baby. Most doctors will say that it’s okay as long as you feel good, but as the pregnancy progresses, it’s a good idea to slow things down.
Is it safe to run while pregnant?
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), if you ran before pregnancy then more than likely you can continue while pregnant. ACOG recommends that women first talk with their doctors and to modify the routine as the pregnancy advances.
ACOG also states that taking up running for the first time when you become pregnant is not such a great idea. Running is so physically stressful that your body and joints may not be ready to stand its affects.
Deciding to run during your early pregnancy is therefore something you must decide as you go along.
Running in Early Pregnancy
Early in pregnancy, many women experience nausea, fatigue and sometimes even morning sickness. Running, therefore, doesn’t sound like the best thing to do when a woman feels this way.
However, it can actually help a woman by giving her more energy throughout the day. Additionally, fresh air can help to alleviate the symptoms of nausea.
Running in Late Pregnancy
A woman’s center of gravity changes as her stomach grows, thus she may be more vulnerable to falling. Running can be even more difficult as a woman’s body changes thus it’s a good idea for a woman to lower her expectations about how long and how hard she can run.
Back pain, pressure on the bladder, and swelling of legs and ankles may also preclude the pleasure derived from running. A woman must ask herself if the benefits of running are worth riding out the side effects, especially later in their pregnancy.
Women should take caution to quit running if they experience any pain, fluid leakage, contractions that will not stop, or if they simply feel something isn’t right with their bodies.
Keep in mind that if you plan on running during your pregnancy that you should keep yourself well hydrated, always warm up and warm down after running, and consider non-weight bearing exercises as opposed to running should it become uncomfortable.
Most importantly, talk with your doctor first and keep him or her informed of any changes you might experience as a result of running during pregnancy.