As an expert in pre- and postnatal training, I know that the most common fear of pregnant runners is that they are hesitant to run during pregnancy for fear of miscarriage. However, modern research shows that miscarriage – especially in the first trimester – is not related to exercise. Rather, it is linked to a number of possibilities, including genetic abnormalities, infections/diseases, chromosomal abnormalities, older age of the mother, severe physical trauma and hormonal imbalances.
Modern research suggests that miscarriage – especially in the first trimester – is not associated with physical exertion.
With this in mind, the question “Can you run during pregnancy?” is less about miscarriage and more about the signs and symptoms you experience during pregnancy. For example, many runners feel pressure on their pelvic floor starting in the second trimester, when the weight of the baby puts a lot of strain on it.
When women begin to feel some sort of “heaviness” or discomfort in their pelvic floor, it is usually a sign that their pelvic floor is not coping with the new demands placed on it, so I recommend withdrawing from activities such as running. I also remind my clients that protecting the pelvic floor during pregnancy can reduce the risk of injury and speed recovery after delivery!
IS IT SAFE TO RUN DURING PREGNANCY?
Being active during pregnancy can help:
Improve your mood
Increase your energy
Reduce your risk of gestational diabetes
Maintain your physical fitness
Improve the quality of your sleep
Reduce recovery time after childbirth
The list of benefits is long, so it’s no wonder that many women are moving away from outdated recommendations to exercise more during pregnancy. However, although doctors and prenatal experts recommend daily exercise, running is not always at the top of the list because it is considered relatively physically demanding.
Among other things, running during pregnancy requires you to consciously control the intensity and amount of exercise, as well as be vigilant for complications:
Pain in the calves
Leakage of amniotic fluid
As an exercise instructor for pregnant women, I always make sure women understand that pregnancy can be a journey full of changes, with possible complications such as placental problems, bleeding or pre-eclampsia.
For uncomplicated pregnancies, doctors recommend:
maintain adequate hydration while running
avoid overheating, as this can raise the temperature of the fetus.
To monitor perceived fatigue. It should always be possible to form a set.
avoid entering the red heart rate zone (I use the Polar Vantage V2 device to monitor this parameter).
Be careful on uneven surfaces that can affect your balance as your center of gravity changes.
During pregnancy, the body produces the hormone relaxin. Its job is to soften the ligaments so that the pelvis and surrounding structures have the freedom needed to push the baby out. However, the presence of relaxin throughout the body can also cause the lumbar, sacroiliac, and pelvic joints to become more sore and prone to injury after walking because these ligaments require more stability.