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Do/did you exercise during your pregnancy?

(61 Posts)
KeyboardMum Sat 21-Nov-15 15:54:34

Hello Mumsnetters!

All over the internet, people are singing the praises of a consistent exercise routine. Whenever I browse the web for pregnancy tips, exercise advice seems to pop up quite regularly (next to folic acid intake).

There are so many benefits for both expecting and non-expecting women (and men). Maintaining a healthy heart, keeping our serotonin levels high and getting the bowels moving when constipated are just a few of the massive differences it can make to your daily life - as well as keeping you lean and feeling sexy.

It's easy enough to natter about, but lets face it, in this age of convenience fast-food, sedentary office jobs and busy schedules, keeping your fitness up can be challenging. Even more so if you have never even seen the inside of a gym.

I'd really like to know what the expecting ladies in this community do to keep fit during the 9 months when your body wants you to do nothing more than lie on the sofa, and eat whatever the cravings tell you to eat, whilst wondering when Luke Skywalker will arrive and order you to hand over the Wookie and Han Solo.

I'm 25, and I'm now roughly 9 weeks LMP (first pregnancy). I'm actually a dedicated runner and have been running for a good 5 years now consistently. My personal best for a 5k jog is 23.5 minutes and the farthest I have ran is a half marathon. I run roughly 3-5 times a week for at least 20 minutes. I love running because it makes me feel happy and sexy. It's also a brilliant way to clear your head and problem-solve when something particularly confounding is getting to you. I think that keeping in shape (as well as eating really healthily) is important and I want to be a good, healthy role-model for my child. But I have to admit ladies, it's getting difficult. I don't want to lose my fitness, but I also don't want to accidentally cause any problems for myself during pregnancy.

So here's my questions to you lovely lot!

Do you have a particular routine? Or is their a certain exercise that you think would be more suited to an expecting mother?

Do you use any exercise aids? (Like those bog, squishy balls I've seen some women rolling their bums on)?

Do you find it beneficial to exercise in a group, with your other half or go at it alone?

Do you think that there are some exercises that should be avoided like the plague?

Do you think that pregnant women should avoid exercise completely and focus on the pregnancy first, and then get their fitness back after the birth?

What do you do when your body doesn't want to let you stick to your routine? Do you go for it anyway, or do you bypass the treadmill and beeline for the kitchen?

Do you find it easier to exercise at certain times of the day?

Looking forward to your responses!


DontBuyANewMumCashmere Sat 21-Nov-15 16:00:13

Don't know if you're a journo (seems very structured and detailed) but basically I only ran once after I found out I was pregnant as I didn't want it to fall off the side of my womb (!) and only cycled once as my fanny hurt (!)
I did however carry on walking the dogs every day, apart from a few days when I had awful SPD probably just a bad back and I swam and did yoga throughout pregnancy.

Tirfarthoin Sat 21-Nov-15 16:01:41

Quite a lot of questions there grin
I was very active thought bothe my pregnancies and still riding racehorses out on exercise at 6 months so probably not typical.
I was still cycling every day up to the day I gave birth.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 21-Nov-15 16:02:49

Think Keyboard is legit.

To answer your question, I have no routine and hardly exercise and your post makes me feel terrible about myself grin

Kr1stina Sat 21-Nov-15 16:03:00

What publication do you work for ? Or are you freelance ?

KeyboardDad Sat 21-Nov-15 16:30:43

Hah, no, we are legit, we just want to do this thing right

PrincessPunzie Sat 21-Nov-15 16:32:45

Eleven weeks here, I run twice a week for an hour, attend two 45-min spin classes, a fitball class, abs class and a Pilates class and do weights solo once a week. Exactly the same routine as pre-pregnancy (except for the runs, which were previously closer to half marathon length) and I hope to keep it up until such time as any of it causes me discomfort. I prefer to exercise in the morning so that I can spend the day knowing I've done it, and so far pregnancy hasn't stopped me (although illness did for a bit at around seven weeks). I haven't broken my routine except to change it up a bit in years, I feel miserable if I'm not fit. Running, however, is becoming a bit tiring (and less enjoyable in the bad weather, although I never really minded that pre-pregnancy) and if it really starts to get to me I'll pick up swimming instead. Like yourself I feel it's important to stay in shape, but not at the expense of my sanity/wellbeing or my baby's.

lljkk Sat 21-Nov-15 16:32:51

pmsl @ feeling sexy

Oysterbabe Sat 21-Nov-15 16:34:55

I'm 30 weeks. I walk 4 miles a day. I used to run before pregnancy but it hurts my bump!

Jjcrackers Sat 21-Nov-15 16:38:04

I was carrying twins and did spinning with a heart rate monitor up to 22 weeks when I got polyhydrimnios. Was too huge to spin but I did do light weights and body balance. I also walked 10,000 steps a day

In terms of exercise aids I used heart rate monitor

KeyboardMum Sat 21-Nov-15 16:40:22

@DontBuyANewMumCashmere - LOL that is precisely the reason why I dislike cycling. Does your buoyancy increase during pregnancy? I think I'm going to get back into swimming. I find it a hilarious thought that your baby is floating around inside you whilst you float around in the pool, it's like early swimming lessons!! :P

@Tirfarthoin - Did you feel any benefits of all that exercise during birth? I read that it's supposed to help your stamina.

@goodnightdarthvader1 - I'm sorry, it's not my intention to make anyone feel bad about themselves. sad

@Kr1stina - I'm not a Journalist, I'm actually a Web Developer and I just like to be eloquent! Though, saying that, I did put 'bog' rather than 'big'.

lemon101 Sat 21-Nov-15 16:42:20

Hello, ran until 30 weeks (by which time it was more of a snail paced lumber). Stopped because it was eventually too uncomfortable (muscles holding your belly fatigue and are quite painful after a while) and the constant sensation of needing a wee really grates! I would say general advice is do anything you were doing previously but make sure you listen to your body and slow down/ take it easier as you get bigger. Post 30 weeks swimming and pregnancy Pilates which I love. Much more suitable when you are this pregnant and you still get the release and chance to stretch your muscles.

I always needed exercise to relax and nothing changes when pregnant - I say if you want to do it don't hold back!

Re times of day - whenever you can feel like it and fit it round work etc.

Re exercising alone vs in a group - I enjoyed running alone, I still like swimming alone, but pregnancy Pilates is fun because you do get to chat with other women in the same circumstances.

KeyboardMum Sat 21-Nov-15 16:52:23

@PrincessPunzie - That's a really helpful response, thank you. I feel exactly the same if I don't exercise, it's a really horrible feeling. Perhaps you get addicted the the serotonin highs. I think you're right about the running. Measuring your levels of discomfort is probably the best way to decide whether your should tone down the routine slightly, or substitute some of the high impact cardio for something a little gentler, like swimming.

@lljkk - Damn right I want to feel sexy! ;)

@Oysterbabe - Many of my relatives have recommended walking, and it's supposed to be really good for pregnancy, but I find it so boring. It's the same reason I dislike yoga. I like to get pumped up and expend shit loads of energy, not wave around like some sort of tree from a Japanese oil painting!

Tirfarthoin Sat 21-Nov-15 16:58:50

The honest answer is I don't know if it really helped with the birth - 1st was really hard and you get tired when you have been awake for 24 hours weather you are fit it not. Second was much easier but that could be for a number of reasons including that I was physically quite fit. I also had regular chiropractic treatment throughout my pregnancy which helped any back and pelvic problems, enabling me to stay fit.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 21-Nov-15 17:02:33

Keyboard, only kidding! Wish I had your determination and drive, it will pay off later in pregnancy (wish I'd been fitter before conceiving)!

VocationalGoat Sat 21-Nov-15 17:06:21

I walk everywhere. I'm not pregnant now, but my youngest is a year and a half. I don't drive and often instead of the bus, walk. So lots of walking anyway, pregnant or not. I don't do anything that puts me at greater risk of pulling muscles (since it's so much easier to pull muscles in pregnancy) or causes fatigue (I have very low BP and anaemia in pregnancy).

anotherdayanothersquabble Sat 21-Nov-15 17:14:48

I reckon running during pregnancy helped my stamina as your heart and lungs have to work harder. Around weeks 12-15, I got slower with all three pregnancies and my breasts hurt but that improved a little and I managed to keep running until 26 weeks.

In the third trimester, I did yoga, Pilates and lots of walking, in the last few weeks, walking became waddling!!

cloudjumper Sat 21-Nov-15 17:19:40

I was running before falling pg, but has to pause for an injury and then didn't start again because I fell pregnant. I've been doing Bodypump for years, 2-3 times a week, and have continued this up to now (34 weeks), adjusting the exercises accordingly and slowly decreasing the frequency (now can only manage once a week). I will stop after next week because I am struggling now (and I had to freeze my gym membership from beg of December).
I've been doing quite a lot of walking otherwise, but that's also getting less and less now.
I agree it's good to keep exercising while pg, but sensibly!
(As to feeling chance gringrin)

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Sat 21-Nov-15 17:24:11

I'm not sure if buoyancy increases, I didn't swim much before being pregnant as I walked, jogged or cycled daily.
It was definitely more comfortable in last trimester to be in water; I felt like a graceful seal walrus rather than a plodding elephant on land...! My hip and back pain didn't hurt me in water.
I had an extremely straightforward home birth which I don't think I can completely put down to daily exercise but my previously despised baby-making hips and tonnes of luck. I also ate dates as I heard this helped with birth and even if it didn't I reckoned a bit of extra fibre never hurt.

originalusernamefail Sat 21-Nov-15 17:28:17

Does sprinting for the loo count? 33 weeks and still in HG hell. Managed a weekly Pilates class until 28 weeks but stopped due to pelvic pain. I do have a very active job however which means I'm on my feet for 12 hour shifts.

SaltySeaBird Sat 21-Nov-15 17:59:38

Well your OP came across as that of a journo researching an article but you seem genuine in later posts!

First pregnancy I stopped; I was high risk and was advised not to exercise, despite being a regular runner. I regretted it as my fitness declined rapidly and it took about 18 months post birth to really get back into it in the same way (although I started trying to run again 3 months post birth).

This time round I've kept running. At minimum I do a 5km run everyweek as I've not missed a ParkRun no matter how awful I've felt - and I was pretty sick the first trimester. I'm slower, dropping 10 mins off my 5km pace - in the early days because I was too sick / exhausted and now because I'm very aware of my bump. But I still run every step.

I try and do one mid week run as well but that's enough for me for now.

I'm not sure of any physical benefits but mentally I'm glad to still be running.

PrincessPunzie Sat 21-Nov-15 18:19:10

anotherday that's interesting to know about you picking your running speed back up after 15 weeks - since 10 weeks my hourlong runs have been taking up to an hour and ten which has been really disheartening - good to know it's just a temporary thing for some, that's encouraged me to stick with it for a few more weeks and see how it pans out.

Nicky333 Sat 21-Nov-15 18:36:54

I run, although mainly races at the moment. I did a half marathon when I didn't know I was pregnant (although I was very hot throughout and my finish photographs show me with my vest tucked up into my bra - never happened before!) and since I found out, I've done a tough 10 mile race, a 10k and quite a few parkruns.

I've decided against doing cross country tomorrow though - too much chance of slipping.

TeamSteady Sat 21-Nov-15 18:45:30

I am 11 weeks tomorrow. Before pregnancy I had taken up the couch to 5k challenge and was around week 7 of the plan iirc when I found out. I managed another week of 3x weekly runs... and then the sickness kicked in and i could barely move without retching... I think (very tentatively) i may be starting to come out the other side (thank fuck for that!!). On Tuesday I had my first day in weeks where I wasn't sick... Wednesday was awful... the last few days i have had the odd 30 min where i have felt ok (a HUGE improvement!!).

I hope to get back into it when i stop feeling so nauseous and vomming. I will have to go right back to the start tho- my fitness has plummeted. All I have done weeks 7-11 of pregnancy is puke and rest in bed.

Previously I was riding my horse several times per week, looking after him every day, walking the dogs every day, running 3x per week.

I will start riding pony again in the next week. Gentle hacking to start with (just in case of motion sickness grin ) and then back up to speed. No drag hunting this year as i usually fall off.. never fallen off any other times in the 2.5 years I've owned him so will carry on with everything else.

hazelnutlatte Sat 21-Nov-15 18:50:07

You really do sound like a journalist, or someone trying to sell us something!
I continued with most of the classes I do at the gym, just toned down the intensity. I gave up on Ashtanga yoga pretty quickly as I just didn't have the energy for it, so did body balance instead. I also did a class called willpower and grace (barefoot cardio with some flexibility and core work) which was easy to continue with as the instructor was pregnant too so I followed her modified moves.
I felt really tired throughout my pregnancy so found it difficult to get the motivation to exercise but once I got going, exercise helped me feel better and it took my mind off the morning sickness.
After about 30 weeks I was incapable of doing much so I switched to pregnancy yoga and swimming.

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