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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Jan-18 > MUMS KNOW BEST

MUMS KNOW BEST

RUNNING WHILE PREGNANT IS AS OFTEN FROWNED UPON AS IT IS ENDORSED. SO IS IT REALLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO? LAURA FOUNTAIN LOOKS AT CONFLICTING ATTITUDES AND UNCOVERS THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT’S RIGHT AND WRONG
Running while pregnant: should you or shouldn’t you?

BUMPY RUNNING

I was 6K into a 10K race and 20 weeks pregnant when I stopped to use the toilet. My pace was closer to ultramarathon survival than 10K PB, but I was enjoying myself on a sunny morning running with friends. The toilet block had introduced a 20p charge since I’d last used it, and I wasn’t prepared. I appealed to the toilet attendant: “I’m pregnant and mid race, any chance you can let me through?” He looked at my bump and ‘Baby on board!’ badge and told me, “You shouldn’t be running. You should be resting.”

I resisted telling him that my obstetrician would disagree with his prescription, or citing several examples of elite sports women training and competing up until giving birth, and just smiled while he opened the gate and let me through.

This is where we find ourselves right now as pregnant, post-natal and soon-to-be-pregnant runners. We’re occupying a world in which strangers tell us we shouldn’t be running while the media (and especially social media) present us with countless examples of sports women and amateur runners carrying on as though pregnancy is no more of a barrier to training than a mild case of DOMS. It can be difficult to know whether we’re doing the right thing and this can lead to feelings of guilt in mums-to-be over whether they’re doing too much or not doing enough.

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About Women’s Running

With the festive season approaching, life is about to get busy. That’s why, this issue, we’re helping you ensure you keep up your running over the festive period with our Christmas Survival Guide, including a four-week training plan, achievable no matter how busy your schedule. Wellness is at the centre of the issue: you’ll find information from our resident GP on how to ensure you’re getting enough iron in your diet as a female runner – and spot the warning signs of a deficiency – as well as essential advice on running through pregnancy from coach Laura Fountain, as she looks at why it’s so essential for pregnant runners to listen to their bodies and focus on their own individual journeys. If you’re finding it difficult at the moment to concentrate on – and look after – yourself a little bit more, then don’t miss cover star Karen Lewing’s story; find out how she transformed her life – and her wellbeing – when she did just that. And if that’s enough to encourage you to make more time for you – and your running – next year, don’t miss contributing editor Tina Chantrey’s feature on the benefits of paid-for coaching…2018 might just be the year you take your running to the next level.