I am officially 38 weeks pregnant (and still running)! Seeing that Mitchell was born 11 days past his due date, I am truthfully not surprised. I have an inkling this babe may be a little stubborn too. Nonetheless, it feels so great to hit the week 38 milestone because our baby really is safe and healthy to arrive any time now. Our official due date is September 22nd so there is still some time for things to get moving! As you can see from the photo, I am a happy 38 weeks pregnant runner (though this pic was taken during week 37)!
38 Weeks Pregnancy Runner
Speaking of “get moving,” I certainly haven’t slacked on my physical activity this pregnancy! I started off the pregnancy with a 750 mile running, biking, and walking challenge called the No Regrets Challenge with my parents and sister Olivia. In my 3rd trimester, I have been averaging about 10-15 miles of running per week, with the exception of one week when it was in the 90s every day. That particular week, I think I only ran 5 miles.
Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I am proud to say that I am still running—and quite fast too! Special thanks to my favorite running companion, Lori. She’s basically like a sister to me, and I cannot thank her enough for her endless support, amazing company, and motivating personality. Over Labor Day weekend during my 37th week of pregnancy, we completed a 5 and 6 mile run together. As you can see from these stats, we were cruising:
5 miles at 8:21 pace
6 miles at 8:33 pace
Exercise During Pregnancy
First and foremost, I am not a doctor nor should anyone take the information in this post as medical advice. I am simply sharing my personal experience with running during this pregnancy. Running and other forms of exercise during pregnancy are not always safe. Any exercise during pregnancy must be cleared by an obstetrician through the duration of the pregnancy.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, I wanted to share about why I have maintained a high level of fitness during pregnancy that has allowed me to be a 38 weeks pregnant runner. The primary reason is because research shows that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to both mom and baby for several reasons. That is a win-win! If you would like to learn more, I have linked the FAQ page about Exercise During Pregnancy from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists right here. In summary, benefits of exercise during pregnancy include:
- Promotes healthy pregnancy weight gain
- Ease common pregnancy discomforts
- May decrease risk of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes or preeclampsia
- Enhances maternal overall fitness and mental health
There are numerous other benefits, but I find that I always feel more energized and in a better mood on the days when I run or walk. In addition to that, my sleep has been restful and high-quality. Running truly has a calming effect on me and helps reduce my stress. This is important for anyone, but especially during pregnancy. I mean, growing a tiny human inside of you is a pretty big deal! I will also point out that I never experienced pain or cramping with my running or I would have stopped.
Pregnancy and Running FAQs
Just for fun, I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A format with some common questions I have received during this pregnancy. Some questions are about running—some are not!
How do you run while pregnant?!
I cannot even tell you how many times I have received this question. The literal answer is I put on running shoes, go outside, pick up my legs, and start running. A more helpful response is that I was running high mileage before I became pregnant but kept running after becoming pregnant with modifications. My baby bump has grown so gradually from week to week that my body has adjusted with no issues. If I had taken long breaks without running, it would be very difficult and possibly unsafe for me to start running late in my pregnancy.
What modifications have you made to be able to run while pregnant?
The biggest modification has been to my mental outlook. I do not put any pressure on myself to run a certain pace or distance, especially if I am not feeling it. On days I haven’t felt like running, I simply didn’t run and enjoyed a rest day. I also always run with water, my phone, and stick to familiar routes fairly close to home. Hydration is critical for any pregnancy, but especially during the summer when running. All of these factors have allowed me to reach this mark as a 38 weeks pregnant runner.
Are you scared that running will put you into labor?
Not even the slightest. I am very much attuned with my body, so I would not set out for a run if I felt an inkling that labor was on the horizon. Clearly my running hasn’t put me into preterm labor. If running in the next week or two helps promote labor though, I wouldn’t be mad about it.
What is the best part of being pregnant?
The best part by far is seeing your body grow and change knowing that you are growing a perfect, little human! It is a feeling that is hard to accurately describe with words. I haven’t been in public too much, but strangers are also exceptionally friendly and kind.
What is the hardest part of being pregnant?
The hardest part of this pregnancy was the 5 weeks during my first trimester when I had all day nausea and extreme fatigue and still needing to watch a busy toddler. Mitchy has always been an especially busy boy, so I was literally in survival mode. I also had aversions to most foods and actually lost weight. I thankfully didn’t have any vomiting but it was still so hard. Being a 38 weeks pregnant runner is actually much easier than the morning sickness was.
Is Mitchell ready to be a big brother?
Mitchell (pictured below) turned 2 in July, so he is still pretty young to comprehend that he will soon have a baby brother or sister. Ready or not, he is going to be. He understands that I have a baby in my tummy and loves to say “bah-bah.” He even kisses and pats my baby bump almost daily. I do think it will be a big adjustment for him after the baby is born over the coming weeks and months, but not necessarily in a bad way. He has been so sweet and gentle towards his baby cousins who were born in January and March.
Are you still taking blood thinners?
Yes, and I have now switched from enoxaparin to heparin injections. The heparin has been very unpleasant compared to enoxaparin because it leaves large bruises and hard lumps at the injection site. I am eager to be done with it. If you want to learn more about why I have to take blood thinners, you can read about it in an earlier post right here. It has nothing to do with me running (in case you were wondering).
What is your baby’s gender?
We honestly have no idea, and thankfully there were no slip-ups at our ultrasounds. I personally am thinking girl just because this pregnancy started out so differently than my first with Mitchell. It is true that pregnancies can be very different! If you would like to guess the gender, please submit your guess in the comments below. I’m thinking I will do a giveaway for someone who guesses correctly!
Thanks for reading. I have been fortunate to have had a smooth pregnancy, and I firmly believe my running played a key role. Let’s hope I can say the same for labor and delivery. Any positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated over the coming weeks that our baby makes his/her safe debut. Don’t forget to comment below with your guess for the gender!