Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Running While Pregnant

I wrote this post ONE YEAR AGO...and forgot to publish it.  Oops.  So here it is!

Let's be honest here.  There are some things that I knew would happen during/after pregnancy, and some that were not expected.

8 mos. along
GUYS/GENTLEMEN/DUDES, you can skip this post.  It's all things girly and may be TMI for you...and I don't want you all thinking I'm weird (but it may be too late for that).  Well, I just need to get these things out there for others to know. Actually, I just don't want you thinking of my boobs.  There, I said it.  And now you are thinking of them.  CRAP.

First, my doctor was extremely supportive of my running habits.  He just advised me to tone down the workout intensity and to listen to my body.  Being a competitive and somewhat stubborn running individual, I had a hard time with this at first.  Slow DOWN?  I just started getting faster!  WTH?!  But, I soon discovered that I was just thankful to be able to run while expecting, as some people aren't allowed to even exercise.  Why did I still run?  It saved my sanity.  Being an active person kept me healthy (my cholesterol decreased and my risk of diabetes went down as well), and it made me have a more positive outlook on life.  Sure, the sport of running has its bad memories (ie my mum), but I needed to get past that and go on.  So, of course I didn't want pregnancy to stop me.  I was going to run, or hobble, as long as I could.

Things I didn't know I'd need/love:
Gerber NUK Disposable nursing pads
Hospital underwear
My coffeemaker and International Delight Creamers
Waterproof mattress pad - night sweats!
My maternity running skirt
Epsom salt soaks
SwaddleMe blankets...lifesaver!

I didn't know:
I'd bleed continuously for 7 weeks. UGH!
I'd sweat SO much at night to lose extra water weight.
My boobs would leak, and that's what caused the "baby spitup" smell that I couldn't find.
I'd love coffee that-much-more.
My outfit would revolve around how easy/accessible it'd be to nurse Goob.

Reader questions:
1. Did you need/seek out doctor permission to run while pregnant? 
Yes, before continuing with my training I made sure that what I was doing was safe for both myself and the little Goober. Before I had my first doctor's appointment, I just walked and took a tiny break from running. 

2. Were you nervous about "hurting" Goober when you ran during pregnancy? 

The thought actually crossed my mind, but then I remembered that she was in a snug, underwater environment and it made me feel better.  Running is more of an up/down motion, so at least I wasn't doing any hardcore flips and gymnastics...then, I might've thought otherwise.

3. Did you need to buy new shoes because of bigger feet?

I've heard that some women's feet get bigger during pregnancy, but mine didn't get any longer.  Of course they would get swollen on occasion (and you really should put your feet up at the end of the day), but it wasn't necessary to buy bigger shoes.  Although, with my love of shoes, I wouldn't have had a problem with that!

4. Do they make prego running gear? :)

Oh goodness!  This was a really really tough obstacle.  The ONLY thing I would run in is the Running Skirts' Maternity Skirt.  I honestly couldn't find any other maternity "running" gear.  The Maternity skirt was/is so incredibly comfortable and supportive.  The large "belly panel" really does help keep the tummy snug and secure.  I used it up until I was 8 months!

5. Which is harder, running prego or pushing a jogging stroller?

Since I'm a jogging stroller noob, that's a tough question.  I'm going to say that running prego is harder, because you can't "escape" that extra weight that a jogging stroller has.  Plus, your body is in a different place than it was when you weren't expecting, so you have to deal with new aches, fatigue and overall slowing down of your pace.  The jogging stroller, I've heard, gets easier with some practice.  But running prego is not that easy for the duration of the pregnancy.

6. When do you need to stop running during pregnancy (besides obvious things like pain or bleeding)? 3rd trimester? Certain weight? Belly size?  My doctor told me to listen to my body.  If it hurt to run (which it did at times because of the loosening of my joints), then I would stop and try something else.  For the last month and a half I took up water aerobics and swimming to take place of my running.  It definitely kept me sane staying active, and the water felt amazing with a big belly!  Sometimes I would even forget I was pregnant!  But, every woman's body is different, and you just have to remind yourself of this.

7. Did you need to have more doctor visits than normal to monitor for changes?

Nope.  I just had the regular visits just like a normal pregnancy.  I'm very thankful that I didn't have to go see the doctor more than what is recommended.  

8. Was your doctor supportive of your running? 
Very much so!  In fact, when I told him that I had been signed up for the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon for months prior to becoming pregnant, he said that "as long as I was up to it" that I could participate.  And so I ran 13.1 miles while 5 1/2 months along with Goober.  I just scaled back my pace, took my time, and enjoyed the scenery. :)

Any questions?  Please feel free to ask.  I know it's been awhile since I was pregnant, but it's still fresh in my mind. 


  1. Night sweats are awesome! I also love having to plan my outfits around breastfeeding, I miss hooded sweatshirts!

  2. I ran throughout both of my pregnancies and it was the best decision I ever made. Kept me strong, kept me sane. And, I couldn't help but enjoy the crazy looks I got from people as I ran down the road with a huge baby belly - it was awesome.

  3. When I first saw this I thought you were preggo again! :) I know this info will help other newly-preg or hoping-to-be preg girls out there feel better about working out while pregnant.

  4. Awesome post, Zoe! Do you think it would have been fine to maintain a high intensity (if you felt good) for the first several months, since the little bean is so small? I'm not sure what the limiting factor is - oxygen / blood supply, physical jostling, increased body temp, ?? Curious. If/when this becomes an issue for me, I'm curious to see what my doc says.

  5. Great post Zoe! I will definitely be bookmarking it for future use... (But not anytime soon! LOL!)

  6. Running while pregnant was awesome for me as well. I also had full clearance from my doctor as long as I agreed to cut the mileage from marathon training and slow down a bit. Being pregnant during the 2nd hottest Texas summer ever though made me have to stop running at 4.5 months along.... I had dropped my gym membership already so the dreadmill was not an option.

    Night sweats were the worst... holy cow. I would wake up and have to change in the middle of the night! 3 months in and I am loving every moment of being Mommy to my little Aubrey!

    Hope that you and your little one are doing great!


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