1. A study done in Korea just this year showed that rats that ran on a treadmill daily during pregnancy gave birth to "rat pups" with improved short-term memory compared with those "rat pups" whose mothers didn't run.
(Kim H, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 25(4):243-9, 2007 Jun)
2. A German study from 2004 found that running women matched for age and weight to non-running women had improved placental blood flow and thus greater oxygen delivery to the baby. They speculate that this should improve feto-placental growth.
(Bergmann A, Placenta. 25(8-9):694-8, 2004 Sep-Oct)
3. A study done in 2002 in California showed that surveyed women who were more physically active had 30-50% lower risk for neural tube defects in their babies, even when they controlled for vitamin supplements they took. This study wasn't limited to running, though and included other forms of cardiovascular exercise.
(Carmichael SL, Maternal & Child Health Journal. 6(3):151-7, 2002 Sep)
4. A Canadian study from 2000 done in rats looked at 30 minutes a day on a treadmill 5 days a week vs a sedentary pregnancy. They found that the rat pups of the runners had a smaller body size, but larger brain to body ratio and normal organ to body ratios. They also found that there was less glycogen stored in the livers of the rat pups born to running mothers. The significance of less glycogen is not known. I also haven't seen this entire study yet (requested full article) and wonder if they didn't feed the same diet to the running and non-running rat mothers (certainly running mothers need to eat more!).
(Houghton PE, Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. 25(6):443-52, 2000 Dec)
5. Finally a case report from 1999 of an elite marathon runner who ran intensively with twins up until 3 days prior to an elective c section at 36 weeks showed no adverse effects on maternal or fetal health. During pregnancy she did progressively slow the speed at which she ran and her heart rate continued to climb at subsequent weeks of pregnancy until delivery.
(Davies B, International Journal of Sports Medicine. 20(6):415-8, 1999 Aug)
Obviously not much research has been done. I also did a medline search for keywords "exercise" and "pregnancy" which brought up more studies that I'll have to report at a later date.
And in real life...
Here we are (SR and me) with helmet hair after a bike ride to the top of a mountain/hill looking out over the place we live. This is from last week and the golden days of fall. We hadn't ridden our bikes up there together before and I'm sure we had both been looking forward to the perfect day when we would. The day before this, there was a beautiful scent coming from the forest partially seen below, that lasted less than 24 hours and was gone by the time of this shot. How ephemeral and beautiful like life.
And we had just had sex in the golden warm sunlight coming through our window, feeling life as we'd always hoped it could feel, as if it were just the two of us on this vast enchanting planet. And then the great, sweaty bike ride.
But life moves too quickly. SR's parents came from their European land to Milwaukee, where my parents live, and everyone got to meet for the first time.
Here we are at the art museum where my mom works. As you can probably guess, my parents are the ones to the left.
Things have been really busy this past week with working and entertaining the house guests and keeping up the fanatical exercise routine, but I slept 9 1/2 hours last night, so things are back in order. Though it was difficult to sleep last night without SR here. I think we are both quite addicted to our nightly simultaneous orgasm. If someone had told me a year ago that that would be the norm in my life, I wouldn't have been able to believe it.
Anyway, though the running has gotten slightly slower this week, I am feeling quite good. All the muscle strains from the race are gone, as is the pubic symphysis ligament strain for which I believe SR's massage is to blame. So I'm continuing the daily 12 mile run plus bike and swim.
And I've finally resigned myself to the fact that I now have a 2 lb weight gain since the first OB appointment, making it 7lbs overall. Honestly, I hope to lose a pound in the next one or two weeks, just because running is slightly more cumbersome now, but it did seem inevitable that another pound would come at some point. Yes, readers, I am obsessive, but I'd never obsess over doing something if I felt it were any risk to the baby.
Below you can see the growing belly by the window of our cheap (see curtains) hotel
And finally, a recent favorite running song: Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss by the Bloodhound Gang (I have to thank SR for introducing me to this one)