Health Training tips

Can running harm pregnancy?

Being active in pregnancy

It is a good idea to stay physically active during your pregnancy – which includes running! The overall guidelines suggest you can continue with activity you were doing pre-pregnancy. If you feel well there are lots of benefits of running while pregnant. Can running harm pregnancy? Not if you are already doing it and there is no specific medical reason why you shouldn’t. Remember that pregnancy is not the time to start running – but if you are here a runner, it is absolutely fine to continue – unless, of course, your healthcare professional has advised against it for specific reasons.

If you suffer abdominal pain, any bleeding, contractions, chest pain or dizziness stop running and seek medical advice.

Is it safe to run in the first trimester?

It is very normal to worry about the safety of your growing baby in the first trimester – but medically it is absolutely possible to carry on running while pregnant first trimester.

Your breasts may be very painful during this first trimester, so you may wish to upgrade your sports bra, or consider cycling or swimming instead – this will very much up to how you feel.

Second and third trimester running

For many women energy levels return in the second trimester, and it should be possible to keep running while pregnant 2nd trimester if you feel well and up to it. Be careful about running over trail terrain – only because you don’t really want to fall over.

In the third trimester, see how you feel. As the bump gets bigger it may well get more difficult or uncomfortable. Stress incontinence – a slight leaking of urine is very common in the late stages, which is fine but keep in mind running might set this off. Some women can run right to the end of their pregnancy and others choose to stop when it feels too difficult.

Pelvic pain when running during pregnancy

You may experience pelvic or lower back pain during pregnancy. If this happens, reduce exercise with high impact – like running or skipping – and seek advice from your healthcare professional.

Pushing yourself in pregnancy

Pregnancy is not the time to go for personal bests – focus your mind on keeping moving and staying active and this will serve you well. Keep a pace where you can talk whilst running, and you won’t be over exerting yourself. Take breaks whenever you need and make sure to stay hydrated.

If running becomes uncomfortable during your pregnancy, switch to an exercise bike or swimming. As a runner you might find this difficult to do, but listen to your body – you will know when to stop running during pregnancy depending on how you feel, and will know that running will be there waiting for you when your baby is a few months old and you will develop new fulfilling routines then.