I’m really happy to be leaving the first trimester behind me. It was not exactly the first trimester I was hoping for- I didn’t plan on getting pregnant right off an injury and cross training for 8+ weeks. In my first pregnancy, a short run would ease the nausea and give me a burst of energy and I didn’t get quite the same effects from a walk or a bike ride. But I’m coming out on the other side.
This week I started to have a little more energy in the afternoon. Rather than crashing on the couch, I actually made it outside for a few walks and even got my husband out for a run with the stroller last night before dinner.
And I can also tell that my energy for running is starting to pick up again. The first trimester is an interesting time.
Some of the general guidelines for the first trimester, regardless of the exercise, are:
- It’s safe to continue what you were doing before pregnancy, but don’t pick up the intensity
- Be careful not to become overheated-– (Quick story:The cardio room in our gym is fairly warm (unless it’s just the pregnancy) but I was biking one day and felt myself getting warmer and warmer and really nauseous, and I suddenly knew I was going to throw up and had to find a trash can or toilet NOW! I sprinted to the bathroom and just made it in time… ugh, not a fun memory. And thankfully, the only time I threw up the entire first trimester.)
- Emphasize more gentle exercises, like walking, pilates, swimming, yoga but jogging is safe as well
- Fuel well for exercise and stay hydrated
- Listen to your body– Every pregnancy is different, and sometimes the nausea and fatigue in the beginning can be overwhelming. It usually helps to get some fresh air and a little exercise, but sometimes you have to lay on the couch and sleep!
I feel pretty “normal” when I’m exercising, but one of the things I’ve noticed in both of my preganancies when I run in the first trimester is how my breathing changes.. I can get a good, deep belly breath when I’m sitting still, but not when I’m running. Suddenly, I’m only taking shallow breaths and work a lot harder to even out my breathing. On some runs, I feel like I have to stop and take walk breaks to catch my breath. Has anyone else experienced this?
I’m re-learning how to listen to my body as well. There are some days where I run and feel amazing and am almost hitting pre-pregnancy paces.
There are other days where I’m crawling along and need a walk break every few minutes. If I know my energy is low, I often plan a stroller run so I have the excuse to walk/run and go as slowly as I need to!
I think I’m adjusting to the unpredictability of it all. This has been my best running week so far… I’m now aiming to run about every other day for 4-6 miles, and each time it’s starting to feel more normal. But I’m just happy to be out there again! (And to have some milder temperatures to bring back my motivation).
Did you struggle with breathing in the first trimester?
Do you run outside more often on the milder winter days?