In the old days it was that pregnant women were treated as fragile and delicate. It was thought that any strain or strenuous activity; any exertion would endanger both mother and child.
However, now, as medical science and mothers themselves understand more about the tremendous capability of the female body, we understand better the dos and don’ts of pregnancy.
We look at some of the commonly asked questions about running during pregnancy:
Is it safe? Obviously this is the first question that occurs to a pregnant woman. After all, this is a strenuous, high impact exercise that puts pressure on the body.
Rule of thumb here is that if you are a regular runner, you can continue even after you get pregnant, so long as your doctor clears it.
Pregnancy is not, however the time to start a running routine. It is also important to steer clear to becoming overheated.
During the first trimester, as the baby’s organs are forming, overheating could cause problems so at this time, a shorter run or alternative exercises could be a better idea.
Are there any benefits to running during pregnancy? If a woman is used to running on a regular basis, she likely gets a boost from her regular runs. Running is of course an excellent work out and a way to keep fit and prevent excess pregnancy weight gain. Also you can do it anytime.
What should I guard against? So long as it is cleared by your health care provider, running during pregnancy may be a good idea. Just don’t overdo it and watch out for any dizziness, vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage, breathing difficulties, chest pain, decrease in fetal movement, or exhaustion and report these immediately.
Running during the first trimester: Keep yourself properly hydrated. Drink plenty of water, before and after your run; even during your run is a good idea.
Good shoes and a good supporting bra are advisable. Good quality running shoes will offer good grip and cushion the impact of running; good support bras will offer support for burgeoning breasts.
Running during the second trimester: Understand that as the belly grows, and body weight increases, the balance of the body alters. It is easier to fall. So be careful as you run; a flat, even surface is best. If you find yourself falling try not to fall on your stomach.
Running during the third trimester: Be careful, and if you feel you are not up to running; skip it. It may be a good idea to replace the run with a brisk walk; many runners find that they slow down to gentle job anyway.