What Should I Wear?
Although some women are lucky enough to be able to squeeze into pre-pregnancy running clothes for all nine months, others may want/need to purchase running clothing designed specifically for pregnant women.
"There are some really nice things out there for pregnant runners," Collins says. "I've found some great shops that carry maternity running clothing that looks really great."
Sites like RunningSkirts.com and BornFit.com offer several options for the pregnant athlete. These online shops carry stylish maternity exercise wear to help women look good and feel comfortable while running.
But it isn't just about running skirts and wicking fabric tops. Sites like FitMaternity.com also offer helpful options such as belly bands, which can provide extra support around the belly during exercise. (A key for any mom-to-be.)
And though it may sound unpleasant, "leaky" nipples can pose a challenge for pregnant runners. (Many would-be moms opt to double up on sports bras to remedy this situation.)
Are There Specific Hydration Guidelines I Should Follow?
"Guidelines for hydration while running during pregnancy are really quite similar to those for non-pregnant runners," Collins says. "If you're thirsty, drink."
USA Track and Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field, agrees. "Simply put, runners should be sensitive to the onset of thirst as the signal to drink," they advise.
According to USATF's new hydration guidelines, "Long-distance runners are instructed to consume 1 liter of fluid for every liter lost during a race."
Prior to pregnancy, a runner might not pay much attention to hydration. "When you're pregnant, it is more important not to overlook your hydration needs," Collins says.
Can I Start a Running Program During Pregnancy?
"While pregnancy is probably not the best time to begin a high-intensity running program, doctors do advise for women to get their exercise time in each day," Collins says. "It's important to talk to your doctor prior to any exercise program, however."
A woman who was not previously active might still be able to enjoy a mild/moderate running program during pregnancy. "I highly recommend for [these women] to start with a run/walk program," Collins says. "The body has to get used to running."
By alternating periods of walking with short periods of running, even previously sedentary women can find success. "Beginning women might walk for four minutes and then run for only one," Collins says. "[Running] might be less intimidating that way."event to add to your calendar.