As someone who has been running on and off (mostly on) for the last 10 years, and someone who did her VERY FIRST half marathon at 12 weeks pregnant, I'm someone who quite obviously, would like to maintain my running habits while pregnant. Running is an extremely important part of my life I JUST got back, and I'm not ready to throw it away just because I'm pregnant.
While I understand there will be limits, and I understand the health of this kid is THE most important thing in the world to me, I also know that running has a TON of benefits - particularly while pregnant. There's the obvious mental health part (running keeps me sane, it gives me an outlet), there's the "fit women have easier labours" (which is awesome for both me AND the baby!), and there's a whole lotta research that shows that exercise like running can build a stronger placenta, deliver more oxygen to your baby making them smarter, and on and on and on.
However, for me, while all of that is AWESOME, it's also about having some ME time, something that is completely MINE, and something that still makes me feel like ME. And while I struggled through weeks 8-11 with a fair amount of nausea and exhaustion, and I struggled through weeks 14-16 with EVERYTHING hurting EVERY TIME I RAN, I kept going - because running matters to me. And as long as this kid kept on growing and moving, I was going to KEEP trying to run.
But after week 16, things weren't so easy anymore. It wasn't just that I tired more easily, or that my joints hurt sooner, it was now that my pelvis HURT - like hurt a LOT when I ran, it was now that my belly felt like it was BOUNCING unless I held my hand on it, and it was now that my knees were starting to REALLY kill me in ways they really shouldn't.
To deal with the knees, I switched to the treadmill, and voila, it worked! I still have more knee pain than I did BEFORE I was pregnant, but meh, it's nothing that doesn't go away with rest, so I'm going to keep going. To deal with the belly though, I went on a hunt for the elusive MATERNITY BELT. And no, I'm not talking regular old belly band, I'm talking FULL-ON BELT. I wanted something MADE for extremes and not just the regular old backaches those lycra belly bands are made for. And lucky me, a good friend who ran until 8 months pregnant with BOTH her kids (thanks to this belt), found me her little piece of magic - the Mom-EZ.
The first thing I'll say is that this thing is NOT easy to find. Specialty running stores? Never heard of it. Lady-specific sports stores? Never heard of it. Maternity stores? Wanted to sell me a belly band. So after a lot of digging and begging, my friend who'd worn one of these herself, found me one where she got hers. But if YOU'RE looking, your best bet is probably to order online, if anything just to save yourself the calls/trips to the many stores.
The second thing I'll say, is that this thing is HIDEOUS. It's like a girdle, but BIGGER and BOLDER and THICKER. But I personally have been stuffing it underneath my workout gear, and this thing works like a FREAKING CHARM!!!! Not only does it have adjustable straps, but it also has velcro in lengths that allow you to adjust it even further. Not only does it wrap around you, but it wraps around your belly in a way that CRADLES it and ACTUALLY holds it in place. Not only does it do up nice and tight, but it's COMFORTABLE - and it DOESN'T loosen but it DOES stay in place - for my whole run, every run.
While I obviously haven't made it to 8 months with this thing yet, at 23 weeks, I have a VERY good feeling about the Mom-EZ. So far I couldn't be happier with it, and I couldn't recommend it more highly to pregnant runners. It also probably works pretty damn good for general back support if you're suffering, but so far I've been fortunate enough not to have to try it for that.
An obvious two big thumbs up for the Mom-EZ.
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