I'm here to tell you that as long as you are smart, it will definitely not hurt the baby, and you will be better off as well! My delivery went so well and I recovered even more quickly after my third baby than my other two; I am convinced it was because I stayed active. Running through pregnancy is a different kind of marathon- hard and long, but worth every step.
Consult with your doctor, of course, but if you have a green light, here are some tips that will help you on your way.
- BE CONSISTENT. Your body is changing and growing on a daily basis. If you want to keep running throughout your pregnancy, then you need to be consistent with your workouts. It needs to adapt to the extra stress more than ever. If you miss runs, you will be able to tell exponentially more than you would normally- we're talking in areas like your abdomen, pelvic floor, and hips. I ran three times a week, three miles each time, and it was perfect for me.
- TAKE IT EASY. Right now is when you get to run for the fun of it! Don't push the pace. Don't push the miles. Just enjoy yourself and be in awe of what your incredible body is doing.
- STRETCH. You will feel aches in places you've never experienced before. Take the time to stretch- especially your hips- before and after you run. Not only does it feel good, but it's so good for your ever expanding body as well. I never felt like I needed a support belt- stretching did the trick for me.
- FUEL. It is important to get proper nutrition and calories while you are pregnant. Now is not the time to diet! Be sure to replace those calories with healthy foods (or Oreos if you're me). I used the app "My Fitness Pal" on my iPod to help me track my calories to be sure I was getting enough each day.
- TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME. There were many, many times that I had the thought, "I think this might be my last run." Rather than give up, I always gave it one more shot, and you know what? It was almost always better the next time! I fought painful varicose veins and sciatic nerve pain this pregnancy, but each day was different. If you just keep trying one day at a time, before you know it you'll be 40 weeks and ready for delivery!