Running During Pregnancy - Cherryville,MO

Updated on May 29, 2010
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
12 answers

I have always been told that the exercise we did before pregnancy is safe to continue during pregnancy (some exceptions of course for high risk pregnancies). However, I recently read in my "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" book that pregnant women should not run more than 2 miles at a time because it increases our body temperature too much. I had never heard that before I read it, and all research I have done online doesn't seem to clarify. For the past month I have been running only 2 miles 3 times per week, just to be safe. Pre-pregnancy I ran about 10-14 miles per week. My next doctor appt is not until late June so I would really like to clear this up before then so I can get back to my running.

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

I, too, am a runner. As long as you were doing it before you were pregnant, you'll be fine to continue. Just keep it slower than you would usually run. Women can run much more than two miles while being pregnant, so you'll be fine.

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C.G.

answers from Augusta on

I have three healthy children and ran throughout all three of my pregnancies. I ran a couple of 5 Ks and probably never more than that at one time, but probably closer to the 10-14 miles per week you were doing pre-pregnancy.

The rule of thumb is to use the "talk test". When you are exercising you should not allow yourself to get so out of breath that you can't have a conversation with someone. Many people will use the rule of not letting your heartrate get above 140 but that is really outdated.

Women who exercise during pregnancy are shown to have a lower risk of c-section, shorter labors, easier recovery, and babies who are on the higher end of average size-wise. While overheating your body is a concern you are unlikely to raise your core body temperature enough to cause an issue- it has to get to about 103. Also, once you are out of the first trimester it is far less of a concern. So stay well hydrated and be exercise in the morning, on the treadmill, or stay out of the sun.

Also, throw out What to Expect When You're Expecting the next chance you get!!! That book is the worst!!

By the way I am a nurse-midwife and this is the same advice I give to my patients as well as myself:) Good luck with your pregnancy!

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I knew a lady that ran 2 miles up a mountain and back down every day of her pregnacy, and her doctor was fine with it. In fact, her water broke at 39 weeks at the top of that mountain, and she ran back down and drove to the hospital to have the kid. If you are in shape and it is what your body it used to, it should be fine. But if you have any concern than just tone it back until you see your doctor next.

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M.R.

answers from Rochester on

You are probably fine. If I ran two miles now, I would be dead and then some. However, distance and time are not the same thing. It sounds like you are doing a bit less than you normally do and I know that lots of women keep up activities like running. I have never heard of a distance limit. I don't feel "hotter" if I work out longer than if I work out for 15 or 20 minutes myself. I wanted to run through my next pregnancy but haven't managed to start running yet so can't imagine I will be running regularly enough whenever we're expecting.

I found that more often than not, if I had a question based on something from books like "What to Expect" my doctor wondered where in the world I had heard it. People thought I shouldn't drink herbal tea, etc. If YOU feel fine doing it, your baby is probably going to feel just fine, too. If your doctor's office has a phone, you could call and ask to have your doctor call back about an exercise question. It would be better for you to ask than to wonder or cut too far back on your activity.

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L.Z.

answers from Boston on

I am also a runner; I ran more than 2 miles with both my pregnancies but slowed down then tapered to walking in the second trimester. I wanted so badly to keep the weight gain to a minimum! I'm sure my heart rate was pretty high, and about 6 weeks along with my second I did a 10K race! She was/is totally fine... sadly, I was not able to keep pregnancy-induced hypertension from rearing its ugly head both times, despite my avid exercising. However, I really think it's important to keep exercising if you do already while pregnant so you can feel as "normal" as possible and get those good endorphins flowing. Just listen to your body, don't push it for the sake of pushing it, and you'll be fine!

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K.E.

answers from Jacksonville on

The advice you've been given so far is great! But, do know that if you are uncertain about something you don't have to wait until your appt. to talk it out with your doctor. I made several calls and needed answers to questions long before I was scheduled a visit. Most OB/GYNs are used to this and will gladly give you an answer. Also agree that tossing that horrible book is the best thing you can do! It causes too many questions, gives some awful guidelines and advice that drives people batty and you'll be perfectly fine without it as were many women before it existed. :) Good luck to you!

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M.T.

answers from Kansas City on

I am currently pregnant and my doctors recommend to keep doing the same exercise, only take it down a notch when and if your body tells you to the further along you get. I also asked about the heart rate and they said I did NOT have to stay under 140bpm but did not give me any upper limit. Just listen to your body and be sensible. A call to your doctors office definitely wouldn't hurt.

Have Fun!

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B.N.

answers from Atlanta on

Keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute and hydrate very well. [email protected]____.com

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T.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Not sure about that but I doubt that the bigger you get it will be comfortable. Your heartrate is not supposed to be above 140 when exercising while you are pregnant also - not sure if you've checked that while running. You could always call and ask your doctor or his nurse.

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F.B.

answers from Kansas City on

If you have been running and you've cut down, then it should be fine. You shouldn't start running or increase. My OB said I could continue for the beginning just cutting back. As you get farther along you'll need to slow down and watch your heart rate, they won't want it too much over 140 after the 1st trimester. Also, most doctors prefer you don't run during the 3rd trimester because the risk of falling goes up so much (your body is off balance) and it doesn't take as much to get the heart rate too high. I would discuss it with your doctor and based on you and your pregnancy in June they'll give you guidelines as you progress but for now, your runs shouldn't be a problem at all. Good luck and congrats (oh PS...no racing, both OB offices I've seen, I moved between kids said it's a big no no, too much risk, too much increase in heart rate).

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C.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I am also a runner and am 16 weeks pregnant. My DR said not to worry about the 140 bmp rule if you are used to that activity. My heartrate usually tops out in the 160's. She did say not to go over 200 which I think would be pretty hard to do. Oh and the reason I asked her is b/c I saw it on my doctor's office website. They are just covering their bases :)

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L.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello~ I also love to run-and i am not a dr. and i am not sure what everyone else is saying-but i run about 3-4 miles 3-4 days a week and also lift weights 5 days a week. I ran-like i normally did until about my 2nd trimester-or really until i got uncomfortable or too tired. I just listened to my body, really, and i was very honest with my dr about my workouts and he seemed to have no problem with it whatsoever since i was someone who avidly worked out prior to my pregnancy! I actually had been on the treadmill earlier in the day-both times i went into labor with my kids! Hope this helps! Good luck!

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