Running while pregnant was considered an absolute no-no; pregnant women were considered fragile and were meant to do as little as possible. However we now know that exercising during pregnancy is not only OK, it is recommended.
Yet women can have the question whether running while pregnant is safe; for mother as well as baby? Well running during pregnancy is quite OK, so long as women follow the following safety guidelines:
1.Continue if you were a runner before pregnancy – If you were used to running before pregnancy there is little reason for you not to continue with this.
Just remember to clear it with your doctors; there shouldn’t be any medical reason that prevents this.
2.Include stretches in your regime – If you opt for running while pregnant also remember to warm up and warm down. The joints and ligaments alter during pregnancy, softening and becoming more elastic.
This fact as well as a pregnant woman’s increasing weight may increase the likelihood of a running injury, so stretches, warm-ups and warm-downs are important.
3.Keep properly hydrated – Drink water before, during and after a running workout. The heart works harder during pregnancy and it could make it easier to get overheated and dehydrated.
4.Invest in good gear – Wear a good quality sports bra that offers good support. Make sure your shoes offer adequate support and are comfortable to run in. Consider getting a maternity belt to support the growing belly while you run.
Even the workout gear should be the sort that neither slips neither digs into the skin; opt for maternity workout wear for running during pregnancy.
5.Make safety a priority – Don’t go running on uneven surfaces or very crowded areas with a lot of traffic or very isolated areas.
Also make sure that someone knows that you’re out running and what time you’re due back as well as the route you intend to take. Carry a cell phone for any emergencies.
6.Increase your caloric intake – Always remember to eat lots of complex carbs. Running is strenuous activity so remember to up your caloric intake so that the body gets the amount of nourishment it needs.
7.Keep it down to a conversational pace – Avoid overexertion when running while pregnant. It can get overheated causing problems for you and the baby. Keep it to a manageable level and exert only to the extent that you can still carry out a conversation.
8.Most women reduce their running by the third trimester – Don’t push yourself too much and slow things down by the time the last trimester comes around. Be careful of slipping and falling particularly in the last few months of the pregnancy. As your weight increases and the belly grows your center of balance changes, putting more at risk of falling and injuring yourself.
9.Listen to your body – Running while pregnant is safe but also make sure you listen to your body. Any persistent pain, vaginal discharge or other discomforts shouldn’t be ignored. If your body is telling you to notch it down a bit, listen to it.