What happens when you go from putting together a race schedule for the upcoming season to finding out you are pregnant? Are you still an athlete? Can you still be an athlete? Should you workout when pregnant? How far? How fast? How often? Where do you find these answers?
I want to write about this because the information out there is so scattered and limited. Hopefully this will be helpful to those who are or who plan to get pregnant. Maybe my experience will help you make sense of your own. If you are not interested in being a pregnant athlete, check out for this week, come back next week. If you are, read on these next few days and enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. I am just an e.l.f. You should always consult with your doctor about exercise activities during pregnancy.
The first thing I realized is that there is not a lot of information out there about athletes that get pregnant. And if you workout every day, more than once a day, you are an athlete and not the average woman. You will find immediately when you are pregnant that everything out there is for the average woman.
What about after birth? Babies born to exercising mothers will be more fit. The nervous systems of these babies seems to work better. At five-days old, they appear calmer, more alert and more adaptable. They require less attention. They have less colic. They may begin to talk earlier and have accelerated mental development. Why? Exercise seems to improve the growth and efficiency of the placenta; and delivers an improved blood and nutrient supply to the baby (Allred, 2000).
That is the magic formula.
I also made peace with myself - as a pregnant athlete. In pregnancy you are an athlete but you are a different athlete. You are like a kinder, gentler, less competitive version of your athletic self. And that is ok. For now. I accepted that what I was doing was really no longer training. It was just working out. Staying fit, having fun, feeling good. There were no performance goals or measurements that needed to be made. For now, working out was about staying healthy and promoting peace of mind.