Running for Two: Working Out While Pregnant
Are you pregnant and athletic? Or, are you looking to start a family soon? Then, this blog is for you!
My husband and I are very blessed to be welcoming baby #2 into our family this summer! Obviously, my training and racing plans for this year have changed just a tad. But, I hope to continue working out with some modifications. I exercised up until delivery with baby #1. And, fingers crossed, I hope to do the same with baby #2! Here are some of my pearls for all you moms looking to workout while pregnant.
Listen to your body (and, your doctor!)
Every pregnancy and every athlete is different. We all come from different backgrounds. If you were racing ironmans and marathons before pregnancy, your threshold for scaling it back will likely be different than someone who just ran their first 5k. Know your limits and listen to your body. And, listen to your doctor. Most women are able to continue their normal workout routine (with some modifications) during pregnancy. However, there are certain medical conditions which may require you to take it easy. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about your pregnancy exercise routine.
Forget about the pace
Your body changes a lot during pregnancy. And, let’s be honest, most of us aren’t looking to set any PR’s while running for two. Take it easy on yourself and stop looking at that Garmin! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are not clocking those 8-minute miles that you were pre-pregnancy. You’ll get it back! Enjoy the journey!
Remember that pelvic floor
Don’t neglect the strength training! The core and pelvic floor are critical for your pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. Yoga, pilates, and barre are all great options. Or, you can do your own set of exercises at home. Of course, be open to modifications. If a pose or posture does not feel right, ask your instructor (or, one of your teammates) for a pregnancy-friendly alternative.
Don’t forget the calories
You are eating and working out for two! Give your body and your growing baby the nutrition they need. This is especially crucial if you are planning to do longer workouts. And, moms, you are athletes. You will lose the weight post-pregnancy! Don’t be afraid to gain enough to grow a healthy baby. Find the right balance between working out and gaining that pregnancy weight. And, get some sleep! Your body and your baby need plenty of z’s!
You may need some extra supplies…
No matter what your workout of choice may be, you may need some pregnancy modifications and/or some extra gear. For my running moms, consider investing in a pregnancy support band. There are many on the market. Find the belly band that is best for you, your body and your budget. And, for my varicose vein-prone patients (this is a plug from your dermatologist), consider wearing those compression socks. I recommend 20-30 mmHg of compression. Believe it or not, they do make some stylish options. These aren’t your grandma’s stockings. I promise! And, protect your skin from the sun. There are certain skin conditions, such as melasma, which can worsen with pregnancy and sun exposure. Wear that sunscreen and cover up buttercup!
It can be difficult when you can’t tempo run with your super speedy, non-pregnant friends. I get it. But, don’t isolate yourself. Ask your friends to join you on their easy runs. Trust me. They will love to share in your journey. And, if you are lucky to have pregnant running mom friends (or groups!) in your area, take advantage of that. Pregnancy is a team sport. You will want all the support and encouragement you can get. And, first-time moms, you can learn so much from those who have already been through it. I am so thankful for all my athletic mom friends who gave me advice and encouragement along the way!
I hope this was helpful! Feel free to add any comments or suggestions! And, remember to run happy!
Written by Amanda Suggs, Siren Luminary
Follow Amanda on Instagram @ironmandymd