So, that said, many of you moms already know that when you become pregnant everyone who has been, known, or had a mom has advice for you. And if you add running while pregnant to the mix... look out! Half think you have a disorder of some sort. Half think you are maniacal and going to kill your baby. And a very select few cheer you on (cautiously).
I'll admit, I don't know much about running and pregnancy because I've never been pregnant until now. I know about the human body and its reaction to exercise, training, distance running, etc. and while that knowledge is certainly not extensive, it gives me something to work with. Pregnancy, however, is a whole new matter and I've had to do some learning to figure out what works for me.
My main goal is to take care of this little girl. I want her to grow strong and healthy in my tummy until it is time for her to enter my arms. So if I were to find evidence that my running was in fact harmful, I would have to admit defeat and desist. My second goal is to take care of myself. I want to stay strong and healthy too. I don't want to gain more than the appropriate amount of weight, and I want my body to recover quickly once its baby-making task is complete (and then, of course to go on a healthy breast-feeding regimen but lets focus on one thing at a time for now).
So, I've read a few articles and I bought a book. Today I've really had time to dive into my book and it is FABULOUS! I am so excited about what I have learned! It answers all of my questions and more. It gives me ammo to fire back when the uniformed look at me like I'm doing crack when I say I'm still running. I've got all of my running mom blogs that keep me inspired and confident in my current efforts, but as helpful as they have been, they are not full of real scientific research (although many of their current practices bear out in the actual research according to this book). "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" by James Clapp M.D. has provided some great insight into what goes on in a pregnant woman's body and with her baby while she exercises, and in all cases he mentions running specifically! If you are new to pregnancy and have a ton of questions about what you can do, get this book! It is an easy read and I promise it will answer all of your questions. As I read, I thought has this man been listening in on my conversations? How does he know I have all of these questions?
The information in this book will not only give you as the pregnant athlete confidence in your daily physical activity, it will help you remain immune when well-meaning family and friends think you should refrain from it. Clapp explains why we have believed certain things about pregnancy and exercise for so long and goes into detail about what tests and studies were conducted to find out the truth.
What we know (although some will unfortunately argue) is that exercise (in my case, running) is VERY good for the body. It does AMAZING things, cures and prevents all kinds of evils both physically and mentally, and generally does the body good (maybe even more than milk). Your pregnant body on exercise is no different. Everything that a woman's body does to get ready for the baby is made even better by exercise. Blood flow, heat dissipation, lung capacity, etc. The list is truly endless, and many of the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, constipation, back aches, etc. are alleviated (mostly) by exercise! The baby is perfectly fine and safe, and better off for your efforts in several ways.
I could go on and on about what this book contains, but it would be better if you read it for yourself and found the answers to your questions that way. Don't take my unsolicited advice, go learn the REAL scoop on pregnancy and exercise (yes, even running). It is good stuff, I promise!
|This one made me laugh out loud!|