Is running off the table when pregnant? This is not a black and white topic where I can give you one exact answer, as with most things relating to fitness during pregnancy, so I will say – it depends.
I’m Colleen Wood, a prenatal and postpartum fitness trainer located in West Conshohocken, and I’m going to give you more information around running during pregnancy to help you make an informed choice!
You may see some people running up until 9 months pregnant, and you may know some people that don’t run at all when pregnant. While it really is a personal preference, it is safe to run during pregnancy – especially if you are a seasoned runner (have been running regularly prior to pregnancy). But you may notice your body naturally wants to decrease the intensity or volume, and that is ok.
If you have not practiced running prior to pregnancy, I would probably advise against starting up that type of exercise while pregnant, and maybe guide you towards an activity with less impact, like swimming, indoor cycling, or even just walking.
There are some considerations to keep in mind if you do run while pregnant. It’s important to know that it is an impact activity, which can put a lot of extra pressure on your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is already handling extra pressure from the growing baby. Your pelvis also can become a little less stable because of the hormones helping your ligaments relax (in preparation for birth). I would highly recommend practicing pelvic floor exercises and becoming more in tune with your pelvic floor and body throughout your whole pregnancy.
Signs you may need to stop running, or seriously decrease intensity, are any types of pain especially in the pelvic area, incontinence issues, and trouble recovering or feeling like the run used up all of your energy.
Your body will most likely let you know whether running during pregnancy is for you or not. And that’s ok! It is absolutely an activity you can put on pause for the time being and resume again postpartum. With both of my pregnancies, I stopped running around halfway (sometime in the second trimester), because it felt too uncomfortable and I knew it was not really beneficial to my personal prenatal training. At that point, I focused more on strength training, core and pelvic floor work, walking and indoor cycling. I was able to continue running postpartum (with enough prep work).
Want to learn about running after baby? Stay tuned for my next article, and be sure to follow me on Instagram.