I'll be 5 weeks on Saturday and I'm wondering whether it's bad to keep lifting. I do barbells at the gym and while I know benching is a no-no because you're flat on your back, and I don't really feel comfortable deadlifting while pregnant (worried I'll throw out my back), I'm wondering whether it's ok to keep doing squats and the military press with just the bar, which is 45lbs and frankly not much weight for me compared to what I was doing pre-pregnancy. If I do short sets, i.e. 3 sets of 5 reps with a good break between sets, it doesn't raise my heart rate that much. I switched to the vertical press machine instead of benching, which has you comfortably seated and pressing the weight forward from your chest. Again, reduced weight from what I'm used to. I'm already overweight and I'd like to stay as fit as I can during pregnancy. Any thoughts? Other than being tubby I have no other health issues or risk factors.
Weightlifting during pregnancy?
From everything I've read, not only is it fine, it's good for you and the baby. Until you get large and uncomfortable, there's no reason to reduce your weights, as long as you listen to your body and it feels okay. You can lay flat on your back through the first trimester. It's not until the second trimester that you have to worry about compressing the vena cava. Also, there's an ancient old myth floating around that a pregnant woman can't get her heart rate above 140. They believed that for like 10 minutes in the 1980s, but that's found to be totally incorrect.
A lot of my crossfit classes include strength training, and it's been great so far (I'm 8 weeks along).
Check out crossfitmom.com for a wonderful weightlifting Q&A.
I lifted until 38 weeks and did it because it felt amazing, not to prove anything. Back squats (in my case, 90 pound squats - my regular squat is about 150#, so I definitely toned it down) felt so good on my hips and back. My form was much better thanks to all the relaxin in my system. I had a difficult labor, but pushing was super easy and such a relief, which I attribute in part to my strength at that time.
The above website has some really helpful general guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. My OB tried to tell me not to lift anything heavier than 25 pounds, which is ridiculous. You can lift what you're comfortable lifting, but watch your form and make sure it feels comfortable at the time. Don't strain yourself and avoid heavy deadlifts or lifts where you "bear down". Otherwise, you're good to go!