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Running in pregnancy

When I was carrying Libby, I managed to keep up with exercise all the way through my pregnancy. I stopped running at around 7 months but continued to swim, walk and play racquet sports. This time around I’ve been a bit lazy. I ran until I was about 6 weeks pregnant, which was when I took part in my last race – a fantastic 10k at night in the Forest of Dean. This was the first night run I’ve ever done and it definitely won’t be the last. 

After that, morning sickness hit me really badly. I had to take tablets prescribed by the doctor to control it and allow me to continue working and looking after Libby. As well as the sickness putting me off running, the tablets had sedative side effects so I was constantly tired. I managed to carry on playing water polo until I was 4 months and I was running and swimming infrequently. After this, water polo had to stop (I couldn’t get into my polo costume!) so I was generally either running or swimming around once a week. 

Now, I’m 5 and a half months pregnant and I’m managing to get out around twice a week to either run or swim. I’m also still walking the dogs, sometimes carrying Libby on my back. I really should be exercising more than this, I know it’s good to keep going during pregnancy. Unfortunately I’ve succumbed to the usual Christmas laziness and over-eating, resulting in a serious lack of motivation. 

Whilst I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, I really am going to make a bit more effort to be active over the next few weeks before I get too big. The benefits of exercise in pregnancy are immeasurable. They include: 

  • Easier to cope both physically and psychologically with the weight you are gaining
  • Labour should be easier if your muscles have remained toned during pregnancy
  • You will regain your figure much more easily after giving birth
  • Recent research indicates that if the mother exercises for at least 20 minutes three times a week during pregnancy, this will enhance the newborn’s brain development
So whilst pregnancy isn’t a great time to take up a new exercise regime, if you are already quite active, it’s a great idea to keep it up. So, after giving myself a written kick up the backside, it’s time to dust off my trainers! 



  1. Marianne Hopwood
    January 7, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    I totally agree with this, although our starting points are so very different. I’m never going to run a marathon, but was swimming right up to Ollie’s birth – a few days earlier and he’d have been born in Eastbourne swimming pool 🙂 I experienced sickness right through my pregnancies, but getting out in the air walking made this more bearable. You are such an inspiration to do more!

    • Natalie Ray
      January 8, 2014 / 2:50 pm

      Aw thanks Maz, that’s really sweet of you. Swimming is such a great thing to do during pregnancy, it’s the best thing to avoid injuries. I also carried on until I was 9 1/2 months pregnant with Libby – I was still playing squash and badminton too but I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend that 😉

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