Running for Two
NO, I am NOT with child, but I got your attention didn’t I? My daughter would be absolutely mortified if I was pregnant! Ha! I simply came across a picture of these tank tops while browsing Pinterest and it reminded me of an article I read about a women that ran through her entire pregnancy. I’m not talking about a mile here or there on the treadmill, I’m talking full ten-mile runs on the weekend until she delivered. As a matter of fact, her last run was 5.5 miles, 36 hours before she delivered, while training for the Boston Marathon. As the myth stating that running while pregnancy is a no-no got busted, this seems to be more and more the norm among runners. When I was pregnant with Madison, I continued to workout, but never ran. I have to think, being the runner I am today, I would probably think differently.
According to Dr. Lanalee Sam, MD, medical director for Elite Obstetrical and Gynecology in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, if you are already a runner, running during pregnancy is completely safe if you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. Most runners are very in-tune with their bodies, and like any other time you hit the road, you should be aware of any changes that may be warning signs, such as rapid heartbeat, abdominal cramping, fluid leakage, or shortness of breath. Personally, my biggest fear would be of falling, and I don’t want to jinx myself here, but I have never tripped and fallen during a run. I’m more likely to do that just walking through my house.
Benefits of running during pregnancy are multiple. For one thing, keeping up with a regular exercise routine will prepare you for delivery. C-Section birth rates have taken a dramatic increase over the past 10 years, accounting for 35% of all births in the United States and some of them can not be avoided. However, Dr. Mike Jaeger, practicing OB/GYN with Partners in OB/GYN, a part of Women’s Care Florida, in Tampa, Fla, states that “People aren’t getting in better shape, people aren’t getting smaller, and lawyers are not going away. Right now, nothing looks like it’s going to be changed.” Continuing to run could keep you in better shape, lowering your risk for unsafe delivery, and possibly eliminate your need for a cesarean.
In addition to an easier delivery, running may also prevent your chances of developing gestational diabetes, and other complications during your pregnancy. Typically healthier Moms are happier Moms all around and will enjoy their pregnancy more, and with fewer complications if exercise is a habit. Babies also benefit from Mom’s cardio work. Cardio exercise will increase blood flow to the placenta which supplies nutrition and oxygen to the fetus. Recovery and a quicker “bounce-back” is also great motivation to stay in shape while pregnant. Once that baby comes, you’ll need the extra stamina.
I hope some expectant Mommies out there found this information encouraging. But remember, each individual pregnancy IS different, and your exercise program should be discussed with your physician before proceeding.