Monday, March 28, 2016

Running While Pregnant

I had a hell of a time finding any information about running while pregnant. 
The little I found was usually hardcore marathon runners. 
People like: 
"I usually run 50 miles a week so adjusting to only 20 was hard.
Oh shut up and go put cream on your foot fungus! 

 What about the women who just wants to a do a couple miles a few times a week? 

Therefore, this is me sharing my experience 
via a series of questions I either googled myself, 
or have been asked by others. 


Can I run while pregnant? 

First and foremost, ASK YOUR DOCTOR. 
Your doctor is the expert on you. 
Go check with him/her first.

When I asked, this was the response my doctor gave: 
"You can do anything you have been doing. 
If you've been running 5 miles, then keep running 5 miles. 
But you shouldn't start training for anything new. 
If you usually run 3 miles, don't start training for a 10K.

Ok, that makes sense! 


Doesn't running shake the baby? 
Doesn't your belly bounce? 

And no. 
My coworker gave me crap all the time for "shaking the baby." 
Babies cannot be shaken in utereo

And no, even at my biggest whale-like status, my belly never "bounced." 
There may be a host of other things to deal with (see below), 
but bouncing was never one of them. 


How far did you run? 

1st through 2nd trimester I was running a solid 3-3.75 miles. 
My 3rd trimester hit me hard
and I dropped down to under 2 miles (avg 1.7). 
As of right now (38 weeks), 
I can only run about 3-4 minutes at a time, 
then walk, 
then run another 3-4 minutes, 
then walk a bit, 
and repeat.


What do you wear while running pregnant? 

THIS was my #1 question that I could not find an answer to ANYWHERE. 

My non-maternity wardrobe is all DryFit Nike or CoolGear/HeatGear Under Armour. 
The fabric is moisture-wicking. 
The quality is durable. 
The seams are comfortable for repeated motion.

Those mega-billion-dollar corporations that specialize in athletic gear, 
who pour millions (billions?) into R&D, 
(Wrote about my winter wardrobe here

 these mega-billion companies don't make maternity wear is beyond me. 
Nike and UA both sponsor female athletes who have gotten pregnant. 
Why not makes clothes for them? 

Rant over. 

Obviously, before the maternity bloat, 
I wore my normal clothing. 

Once the bloat set in (a nice early 12 weeks!), 
I found a pair of maternity capris from Motherhood
In a word?  
Fabric was itchy and cheap. 
But I managed. 
When winter set in, I layered a pair of cheap cotton Old Navy maternity leggings. 
It was an unfortunate look, but it worked. 

I was SHOCKED that I never had to buy maternity shirts. 
The nice thing about quality active gear is the STRETCH. 
I was able to wear my UA/Nike tanks, shirts, and even my winter running jackets. 
Obviously, my skintight gear did not fit, 
but the looser clothing definitely got me through. 

As other options...
I found some possible options through Nordstrom's maternity active category
Ingrid & Isabel look to make some nice shirts and light running jackets. 
There's also a cute site called fortwofitness 
that has some super adorable running shirts 
AND recently added fitness shorts and capris, 
which I would have totally bought if they were available last fall! 

But again, I cannot speak for either of the two above. 
I can only confirm that Motherhood sucked. 

35 weeks pregnant here:
 Leggings: Motherhood (gag) 
Shirt: Nike DryFit non-maternity 
Belly band: see below


Does it hurt to run pregnant? 
What are some of the physical obstacles? 

I won't lie, it's not comfortable. 
You have to WANT it. 
Shana from The Mom Edit wrote an awesome post about running with chemo
and while I would say that generally pregnant running is not that bad, 
sometimes it really did feel like death. 
My biggest motivator was knowing that IF I gave up, 
I wouldn't be able to restart.

Common obstacles:

- Pelvic Pressure
The belly doesn't bounce, but it does press down on the pelvic area. 

- Frequent peeing
No matter how many times I'd pee beforehand,
 I ALWAYS had to make a stop a mile in to go pee.  
Our local township building as a bathroom right by the entrance so I would make a pit stop every run. 

- Shooting pelvic pains
This sounds bad and dangerous, 
but I made a personal decision to try to push through. 
Often times the pain would go away. 
But sometimes I had to walk for a few minutes before resuming. 

A few reasons I pushed through the shooting pains: 

1. This was my 2nd pregnancy and thus felt comfortable about my body. I would have NEVER done this with my 1st pregnancy.

2. I never spotted or had any sign of bleeding. 

But, at the risk of being sued, JUST CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. 


Anything help? 

Yes, a belly band was a huge HUGE help. 
I purchased the Gabriella Maternity Support Band (see above in picture).
I wore it over my [crappy] activewear pants.
I bought the band at 27 weeks but should have gotten it sooner. 
It alleviated so much pelvic pressure and I couldn't imagine running without it. 


And that's it? 
Anything I missed? 
Any advice on other maternity brands? 
Do you know any non-marathoner-blogs that talk about running while pregnant?


  1. I have no input to offer whatsoever... so happy Monday to you :)

  2. I have no input at all to offer. I walked (on ice) while pregnant but never ran. All I have to say is 1) Go you!!! This will be a super-helpful post for anyone who is Googling "running while pregnant" and 2) Thanks for posting a picture! And I'm sorry the Motherhood leggings were crap. In general, I really liked their maternity clothes.