I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant and have been running 6 mi 3-4 times a week thru out my entire pregnancy. That all came to an end abruptly the other day when I started experiencing piriformis pain. UGH. I haven't run in 2 days and I'm scared I'm not going to be able to run for months. Has anyone else experienced this? I've been a runner for years and this is the first time I've experienced this, so I'm almost positive it's related to pregnancy as well.
1/23/12 1:22 P
A great way to keep your intensity level within safe limits is explained in this article:
Catherine is the co-author of "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" with Dr. James Clapp, and author of Fit Pregnancy For Dummies, published by Wiley Publishing in 2004. To learn more about these books or buy them online you can find them on www.amazon.com.
Cathy also provides Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Information and certification courses to Healthcare Professionals. Click here to learn more.
1/21/12 11:21 A
Sprinting is difficult on the joints. I would hesitate with the sprinting aspect of your running, just because it may cause you pain as you grow. Your heart rate is very important as you do not want it into your max heart rate zone and sprinting gets your heart rate up very quickly.
1/1/07 1:01 P
Marta: You will find quite a few threads here that will totally inspire you. I ran every day until two days before giving birth to my beautiful baby boy. He is now 7 weeks and I am back to seven days a week running at about 8 minute pace. I am a regular on the "Third Trimester Runners," although all of us have now given birth. We just can't stop poting because we have all become such close friends. Believe me, you can definitely keep the running up all the way through your pregnany. You will get really slow at the end, but just know that your pace will come back after you no longer have "baby on board."
Parker (our one and only)
8/8/06 9:42 A
There are a couple of threads you can go to...if you go to excerise central, there is one called Runners. There is also a thread called Third Trimester Runners. Both of these threads are pretty active.
Hope this helps!
8/7/06 9:47 P
Thank you for the info! Can you direct me how to get to this thread? I am having trouble finding it. Thanks!
Jonathan was born via c-section on 11/14/06!!
8/7/06 10:17 A
Hey, Jo - welcome! I would point you to the runner's thread on this same message board - it's quite a bit more active.
Nathaniel Alexander 10/10/2001
Jocelyn Paige 9/6/06
8/7/06 9:21 A
Hello - I am new to Baby Fit and am looking to chat with any pregnant runners out there. I am 6 months (27 weeks) and still logging about 25 miles per week. I ran quite a bit before getting pregnant, so this is not a big deal for me. When did you know it was time to stop running and pick up another activity, or did you run until the end?
Jonathan was born via c-section on 11/14/06!!
2/9/06 8:07 A
I am seven months pregnant and still running (jogging) and lifting weights. I feel great during this pregnancy - and no stretch marks! I exercised with my first, but just light elliptical, I did not run or lift weights. So far, I have only gained 15 pounds and I feel very strong. My doctor says it's fine to keep up this level of exercise as long as I feel up to it. But of course, not to do anything more strenuous than what I am used to. Go for it!
Ryan David 3/9/04
Peyton Elizabeth EDD 4/20/06
2/8/06 10:22 P
Here are a couple of Q&A from our Ask the Experts section that may be helpful:
" There is nothing like a newborn baby to renew your spirit - and to (strengthen) your resolve to make the world a better place."
"A child fills a place in your heart you never knew was empty"
Unknown, shared by LESLEY123
2/8/06 10:09 P
Okay a couple of comments. I think that stretch marks are basically hereditary, but just as you can inherit hair color from one parent you can also inherit skin type. So your mom may or may not be your best comparison. Look at women on your father's side of family. I do believe you will either get them or not and there is little you can do.
But I have never heard that running causes stretch marks, but one thing that does cause stretch marks is gaining weight rapidly and I know running has helped me gain at a good steady pace.
I am 30 weeks pregnant and plan on running until delivery.
#3 due Nov. 7th
2/8/06 5:21 P
I'm am a runner and have been for about 13 years now. Is it safe to run up to 6 or 7 months of pregnancy if you feel o.k.?
7/13/05 1:11 P
I don't think stretch marks are 100% hereditary. My mom has none while her mom had lots. One of my sisters has tons everywhere, another one has some only on her breasts, while my younger sister has none. I think it is very indiviual and has more to do with your weight gain. Just my opinion.
1st baby -due Feb. 19th! We're waiting to find out the sex!
Pictured: My "other" baby Chica
7/12/05 9:55 A
Sandra--no idea you were preggo! congrats.
Also, strech marks are hereditary, you won't get them from running and fancy creams won't help prevent them. Sorry.
Edited by: SIOBHAN02 at: 7/12/2005 (09:56)
Daughters: Katherine 3/31/04
7/10/05 10:50 A
Here is an article i just found on this web-site:
Can I keep running?
If you are already a runner, you can continue a running program while pregnant, but with special modifications to intensity, frequency, and speed. Your goals for running while pregnant should be to maintain fitness, not to train. You'll need to reduce your mileage as you progress in the second and third trimesters. Be sure to recognize your limits and stop if you have signs of dizziness, faintness, or shortness of breath while exercising. If you weren't running regularly before pregnancy, you shouldn't start now.
7/12/04 2:57 P
i have not heard that before, but did some checking around and thoguht this might be of some help. "Stretch marks are often mistakenly blamed on the rapid stretching of the skin associated with such life events as pregnancy and growth spurts, but in actuality this is untrue. Stretch marks (also referred to as striae distensae) are the result of an increased level of circulating glucocorticoids throughout the bloodstream. This hormone, secreted by the adrenal glands (they lie on top of the kidneys), becomes elevated during pregnancy, adolescence, with obesity, weight lifting and Cushing’s disease.
Medications such as oral steroids can also cause stretch marks to develop. Stretch marks can even form from chronic over use of low potency topical steroid creams and ointments driven more deeply into the skin when covered with such materials as plastic wrap. High potency topical steroids require no occlusion to wreak havoc upon the skin and result in striae.
A Lack Of Support
All the stretching in the world will not result in a stretch mark so long as there is support within the dermis. Stretching may determine where the stretch marks will appear and also plays a role in which direction they run. But stretching alone is not the cause of a stretch mark. Perhaps the term stretch mark is really a misnomer!
Those glucocorticoids responsible for the development of a stretch marks affect the dermis by preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibers, necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal tearing. The epidermal cells are also affected, so the epidermis becomes thin and flattened, allowing for more visibility of the defects below.
If you were to look at a stretch mark under the microscope, you’d see that the dermis is thinner than normal. The collagen fibers have been pulled apart from each other, and the elastic fibers are broken and lie clumped along the edges of the stretch mark. They are nowhere to be found within the heart of the tear. Remember a healthy dermis is literally a chain linked fence, preventing sagging and crepiness seen later in life with wrinkles. If tears develop, the skin will show it.
As the stretch mark ages and turns white, this is the regeneration phase. The collagen bundles mix with some abnormally thin elastic fibers but are unable to fully realign themselves in a proper manner. The elastic fibers continue to be absent deeper in the dermis. Treatment is aimed at trying to normalize this cutaneous disarray.
Red, White and Blue?
If you’re blue about having stretch marks, you aren’t alone. However, there is a lot of information that has come through the medical journals recently on the treatment and prevention of stretch marks. Your chances of improving the look of your stretch marks will be higher if you understand that therapy will be based upon what your stretch marks look like (basically the phase of development) and make the appropriate treatment selection.
Stretch marks are most commonly seen in such areas as the abdomen, buttocks, hips, breasts and thighs. Wrinkled, crinkled strips of skin develop a red and often raised appearance early in the life cycle of a stretch mark. If your skin is dark, you may not necessarily see a red tone to the skin but it’s there. Over time stretch marks turn to a dusky purple and finally into flattened white bands. Everyone is acquainted with their appearance but most are fully unaware of how to cause their disappearance. Treatment varies by the specific phase of the stretch mark.
Stop Sign Red
Medically known as striae rubra. Here lies your best chance of really making an impact upon the ultimate demise of your stretch marks. Your options include:
Mederma applied 3-4 times daily for an estimated 6-12 months.
Cellex-C High Potency Serum applied daily for 6-12 months.
Prescription 0.1% Tretinoin (Retin A 0.1% Cream or Gel) applied nightly (start out every other night until your skin has become adjusted) for 12 months. A non-prescription option includes Afirm 3X. This option is not appropriate if you are pregnant or nursing. Wait until afterwards to try it.
Treatment with a 585-nm pulsed dye laser. This is not recommended for anyone with a dark skin tone (Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV, V or VI) due to a high risk of permanent increased skin discoloration from the procedure. This is another option to skip while pregnant or nursing. The idea behind treating anything early on is that you are limiting the amount of damage that is caused. Cellex-C has already been documented to help stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin fibers. These are essential in helping prevent the formation of stretch marks. And while Mederma has shown good results in helping treat red, raised stretch marks, we still do not really understand why. It is safe to use while pregnant and nursing and certainly as “natural” as one can get. The active ingredient is nothing but onion juice extract.
Tretinoin has long been suspected of stimulating fibroblast activity resulting in the formation of collagen and elastin fibers. In addition, exfoliation will occur helping create a more uniform surface.
Medically called striae distensae alba. Let’s be honest; most of you reading this article are far past adolescent growth spurts and may even be looking at what seems like ancient post partum concerns. But there are wonderful opportunities to take an aggressive approach to your stretch marks and try to greatly improve their appearance.
I have received many a hopeless letter from those with older white stretch marks who have been told by their doctor “you needed to do something when they were red, there’s nothing you can do now”. First corollary of medicine: never give up. The good news is you don’t have to.
Here are your options:
M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream combined with Cellex-C High Potency Serum. See below for further details.
M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream combined with either Renova or Afirm 3X. Please see below for more information.
585-nm Pulsed Dye Laser The Department of General Surgery at Portsmouth´s Naval Medical Center published a great study in 1998 in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery looking at how best to handle white stretch marks. Specifically they looked at what would happen if they had a group of women with white stretch marks apply M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream once daily and either include Cellex-C High Potency Serum or 0.05% tretinoin (Renova 0.05% Cream) at another time of day. They found that over the course of 12 weeks, there was definite improvement with either regimen.
Subtleties in the study results included that the M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream/Renova group, had already formed 20% more elastin fibers. Also, microscopic proof was found that both groups increased the thickness of the epidermis and papillary dermis within the stretch mark approaching that of normal skin.
Unbuffered, glycolic acid at a concentration of 20% can be highly irritating to the skin. The choice of M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream was ideal as it offered therapeutic effectiveness with a minimum of irritation.
Renova is a prescription item, and if you are unable to obtain this from your doctor, you can try substituting a potent retinol such as Afirm 3X. Starting any topical Vitamin A cream is tricky if you wish to avoid potential irritation. Start out every other night using just a pea-sized amount to each treatment area (a pea-size per hip for instance). Make certain that the skin is dry (wait 30 minutes after washing) before application. Also, avoid using this product if you are pregnant or nursing; go with Cellex-C High Potency Serum instead. Both glycolic acid and Vitamin A creams can cause an increase in photosensitivity so wear your SPF 30 sunscreen daily!
Please be aware that this study was only run for 12 weeks and that while initial improvement was seen, plan for a 12 month course of therapy to see your maximum results.
In which order will you apply your creams?
If using M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream and Cellex-C High Potency Serum:
Apply your Cellex-C High Potency Serum in the morning, M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream at night. This provides you the benefits of the antioxidant effects during the daytime.
If using M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream and Afirm 3X or Renova:
Apply your M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream in the morning and your Vitamin A cream at night. Microdermabrasion may also be a helpful procedure to consider for stubborn, older white stretch marks. Microdermabrasion is a procedure where tiny particles are basically "sand blasted" against the skin and gradually remove scarred or discolored epidermal tissue. Microscopic studies have supported the effectiveness of microdermabrasion. This procedure is performed in a variety of settings from dermatologist and plastic surgery offices to some spas and high end aesthetician clinics, or you can try it yourself with DermaNew Microdermabrasion Total Body Experience. This is done in a series of typically 6 or more treatments depending upon the type of problem being treated. Alone I do not personally think that microdermabrasion is going to be your solution, but in combination with a proven regimen it may help hasten your improvement.
A final potential option for the treatment of older stretch marks is the new N-Lite laser. While it is FDA approved for the treatment of periorbital wrinkles (a nice way of saying crow´s feet), a potential "off label" use may be to help improve the appearance of stretch marks. The N-Lite is a non-ablative laser, meaning there is no burning of the skin as seen in routine ablative laser resurfacing. The N-Lite helps stimulate the fibroblasts to start producing collagen fibers. If you plan to try this procedure, I would truly assume you will need at least 3 sessions before you determine if it has been effective.
It is estimated that 90% or more of pregnant Caucasian women will develop stretch marks. That’s huge! Women of color tend to fair better but still can be at risk for developing stretch marks. Genetics as always tend to play a role, particularly in the possible severity of your stretch marks. So, if your mother has really bad stretch marks odds are you will too. During pregnancy those adrenocorticoids are circulating in high concentrations, and while they are the major culprit, it is hypothesized that other hormones such as estrogen and relaxin may also play a role.
As the physical stretching contributes to location as well as direction of stretch marks, it is obvious that the breasts, buttocks, thighs and abdomen will be most likely afflicted. Stretch marks formed during pregnancy can improve without intervention, but they never seem to fully go away. The next baby shower you go to; consider taking a tube of Mederma or a bottle of Cellex-C High Potency Serum. Your mother-to-be will welcome the opportunity to do something constructive for her rapidly changing form. And rest assured, Mederma, Cellex-C High Potency Serum and M.D. Forte Hand & Body Cream (if used) are all safe to use while pregnant or nursing.
Young and Jewel published a study in 1995 on “Creams For Preventing Stretch Marks In Pregnancy”. In it they looked at 100 women who had at least one birth behind them and had developed stretch marks and were pregnant again. A cream composed of a mixture of a botanical ingredient Centella asiatica (also known as Gotu Kola) combined with Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and collagen-elastin hydrolysates was applied to the skin and found to have some benefit to preventing the formation of stretch marks.
I was pretty excited by this Cochran Review until I went looking to find out more on Centella asiatica. It turns out that when taken by mouth as a supplement it can cause miscarriage and has a narcotic-like effect. It is not to be used if pregnant or nursing. In addition it is known to cause a rash or increased sun sensitivity when applied topically. I would be incredibly hesitant to ask a pregnant woman to apply any cream with an ingredient known to be dangerous if taken orally. Currently we go to great lengths to discourage the use of topical vitamins A and K for pregnant women, so I would add this to the list. For those of you ingredient readers, other names for Centella asiatica include Hydrocotyle asiatica, Indian Pennywort, Indian Water Navelwort and Marsh Penny. Incidentally, researchers felt that this mixture was of no benefit for treating or preventing routine stretch marks.
Growing, Growing, Growing, Gone!
To be honest I always thought that all that stretching associated with growth spurts was responsible for stretch marks in adolescence. At least 35% of girls and 15% of boys will develop stretch marks at some point during puberty. The actual cause of developing stretch marks when you’re growing is an increase in 17-ketosteroid circulating throughout the bloodstream. You can’t do anything to stop that, but you can be aware of the problem and plan ahead.
And what about your teenagers? More than likely most teens are not going to bring up their concerns to you. They are far too body conscience to count on them requesting help. So bring up the subject. Ask them if they are seeing red or white streaks on their skin. They probably have no idea of what is happening to them and will be thrilled at trying anything to clear them up.
I think if parents were better educated on this that we could have teens treating these stretch marks early on and ideally prevent much of the aftermath of white lines coursing across their skin. I would suggest taking the pregnancy approach and either use prevention with topical Vitamin C serums like Cellex-C High Potency Serum or start applying Mederma once you start seeing them form.
As with all white stretch marks, if your are from a growth spurt long gone you need to handle them exactly as detailed above in “White Out”.
You may stretch, but the stretch marks won´t hide. Be thankful that researchers are finding new options all the time to help improve the appearance of those "badges of life" we wear upon our skin.
Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter about Stretch Marks. As always, I hope you have found it informative. "
Glad to help, Sandra and I hope you have a very healthy pregnancy! Please keep us updated and let us know how you are doing!
7/10/04 11:39 P
Coach, All I can say is MUAHHH!! Thanks!! U gave me exactly the materal and info I needed. I am a 'hard facts' type of person. I don't go by ones experience only. I like to know studies, and real hard facts, which is exactly what u gave me. U are the best!!! Thanks a bundle, Sandra
Katia Rose--born Jan 23rd 2005
Andre' Julian--born Jan 30th 2002
We are such proud parents..they are our little gems. Made our lives complete.
I MISS being pregnant, and all the treasures that come with it
7/10/04 8:13 P
Hi Sandra, I found the following article for you and thought it might be helpful. I inserted the link at the botttom if you want more information. "Running and Pregnancy The beauty of running is its simplicity. If you have already run, you will likely want to continue it during pregnancy. In general, running is a safe activity that many pregnant women continue, with modification, throughout pregnancy. If you've never run before, now is not the time to start. If you are a seasoned runner, you'll enjoy the journey ahead. Several studies have looked at the safety of running in pregnancy. In 1981 the Melpomene Institute, a nonprofit organization which publishes research and educational material on fitness and health for girls and women, completed a study on pregnant runners (1990). One hundred ninety-five women, whose average age was 29.1 years, were studied. Three months before conception they were averaging 24.8 miles per week. 80.3% of the women delivered vaginally while 19.7% had Cesarean sections. The average birth was seven pounds, six ounces. All infants were born healthy and survived the neonatal period. This report and other studies (Hauth et al. 1982; Jarret and Spellacy, 1983) on pregnant runners are reassuring. You can continue to run as long as you follow some special guidelines.
Starting the Run If you're the type who laces up your shoes and then bounds out the door without stretching, change your ways! Now that you're carrying a future runner, you need to take some extra precautions. More than ever, proper stretching both before and after running will help prevent injuries. Relaxin, the hormone that relaxes your ligaments, is working throughout pregnancy. Loose joints and ligaments make you more vulnerable to injury so concentrate on stretches for your large muscles ... hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles, Achilles and lower back muscles. Gentle easy stretching is the best.
Listen to Your Body You will need to modify the intensity, frequency, and speed of your runs. Remember, you are running to maintain your fitness, not to train. Slow down -- don't push your pace, and don't push your distance. Back off running a preset course if you just don't feel like doing it.
Stop and walk if you feel Braxton Hicks contractions (rhythmic tightening of the lower abdomen) or ligament pain. At seven months, I sometimes felt Braxton Hicks contractions during the first few minutes of a run. I would stop and walk a few minutes and then, when the contractions stopped, start up slowly again.
Stop if you feel pain, persistent contractions, leakage of fluid, fatigue, dizziness, or any medical problem.
Running in Early Pregnancy You may experience bouts of nausea and fatigue the first few months. Several runners that I interviewed found that running in the morning helped. An elite runner stated: "As soon as I go out to run it's strange, but it [nausea] is almost immediately gone."
Try running outdoors if you normally run on an indoor track. The fresh air may help. If you find yourself losing weigh from vomiting, cut back on your running or stop until you are gaining adequate weight. Talk to your health care provider.
Fatigue can be perplexing the first few months. As an active woman, you are used to feeling energetic most of the time. Before pregnancy, if you felt sluggish, you probably went out for a run to regain some vigor. Now you may be more inclined to curl up for a nap.
Schedule your run at a time of day when you feel least tired. Don't push it. It can be frustrating -- in your mind, you know that running will probably make you feel better, but your body is saying "doze". If running seems too much for today, substitute a brisk walk, a few laps in the pool, or spinning on a stationary bike.
Running with tender swollen breasts is uncomfortable. Buy a good supportive bra with side adjustable straps or a sports bra. As weeks go by, you may need to move up to a larger size.
Urinary frequency, one of the early signs of pregnancy, is a challenge. For running you need to devise some strategic plans, Don't cut back on your fluids ... you need to stay well-hydrated. Plan your runs around a bathroom stop.
Be sure to immediately stop any racing, speed work, or vigorous long runs once you learn you are pregnant.
Running in Later Pregnancy At midpoint (four to seven months) you may feel your best, but you'll also be aware of the added weight and minor aches and pains. It is time to slow down, decrease your mileage, and consider women running alternatives.
Most women I interviewed cut back their mileage 30 to 40% by the second trimester and up to 70% in the last weeks. Some women stopped running altogether because of the extra weight and abdominal pressure. Your running gait changes so be alert to terrain and traffic. You tend to not pick up your feet as high and your stride shortens.
If running becomes uncomfortable, consider non-weight bearing options for exercise. As a runner, you've probably already engaged in cross-training activities. If you are planning a pregnancy and run exclusively, now, before conception, is the time to introduce yourself to some other activities, such as swimming, paddling, cycling, cross-country skiing, Nordic Track, low impact aerobics, and walking (Note: Fit & Pregnant has wonderful information on each of these topics). "
Joan Marie Butler, RNC, CNM is an experienced nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, a recent mother, and a nationally-ranked Masters athlete. She lives in Syracuse, NY. She is author of Fit & Pregnant: The Pregnant Woman's Guide to Exercise
7/9/04 4:09 P
I am very active. With weight training, and cardio, and have been for over 18 yrs. Running has always been on and off for me, but in general, I have replaced it with another cardio for diversity. I am now 10 weeks. And this is my 2nd child. I was active with my 1st all the way til I was 8 months, and majorly slowed down the last month, but I avoided running. I was afraid and did not know enough about running and being pregnant. Can I run while pregnant? My running is more sprinting. But I do keep an eye (as usual) on my heart rate to stay between 120 and 135 (not to get even close, or over 140). What I really wan to know is, is it def NOT a problem to run? I dont want to be that 10% that it affected. Does anyone know hard facts on running while pregnant? I would appreciate it greatly.
Katia Rose--born Jan 23rd 2005
Andre' Julian--born Jan 30th 2002
We are such proud parents..they are our little gems. Made our lives complete.
I MISS being pregnant, and all the treasures that come with it
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