Too Keen ?
Many women are incredibly eager to return to running after childbirth. After a natural and uncomplicated birth some believe that they are ready to run at a few weeks post partum.
Returning to running after pregnancy is dependent on the individual, but there are a few guidelines that are applicable to everyone. Your body heals in its own time. Some people heal slower than others so, never-mind your friend who’s already back to running 3 months after her baby.
Is Running after Childbirth OK?
Ultimately, if you start running and you find that your tummy bulges or you leak as you go guess what………You are NOT sufficiently restored to withstand the load of this kind of exertion.
If you ever feel any bearing down, heaviness or discomfort in your pelvis or pelvic floor when you run……..NO you shouldn’t be running.
Peeing when you run is categorically NOT OK. It’s your body telling you in really very certain terms that it is not able to do what you’re asking it to do.
If you have any level of pelvic organ prolapse, you definitely should not be running.
Some practitioners in this field suggest that despite our own intentions and feeling that we are fine, our non-muscular connective tissues (fascia, tendons and ligaments – all with slower healing rates than muscle) within the pelvic basin, have not returned to full function/strength in terms of supporting the pelvic floor muscles for at least a year!
Surely you must be able to run before your baby is 1 year old? Indeed, some of you might be able to, and some of you not, but ultimately at the very least, your pelvic floor will be the judge.
Insisting on continuing to run, attend bootcamp or doing anything that makes you pee or builds pressure against your healing core/diastasis is not totally a life and death situation, but….in terms of the misery that many women endure once their incontinence really starts to affect their lives, it could be!
When women have continence issues or end up with a ‘pressure belly’ or enduring diastasis, because they don’t get great advice, prioritise their HEALING over INAPPROPRIATE EXERCISE – THEY ARE MISERABLE!
See a Pelvic Floor Specialist
If you want an accurate assessment of your pelvic floor health see a physical therapist who specialises in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
They will help you determine if you’re ready to run or not. Seeing a Pelvic floor specialist can give you the tools you need to help rehabilitate and repair the damage caused by labour and delivery and work on strengthening areas that are weak.
Give yourself time to heal and recover completely from whatever type of birth you have.
So, if you want to return to running after childbirth the key is always to start with slow, short jogs. The faster and longer you run, the more pressure is created within the core, and the greater chance of leaking. Think solo jog/walks, leading to runs on your own or with someone at your level rather than ‘races’ and aim to build up your speed and distance over a period of months.
Seek Help from a Woman’s Fitness Specialist
Focus more on strength training and give the high impact cardio a break.
A personal trainer qualified in working with post natal mums will be able to help you on your journey back to running after childbirth, with an appropriate exercise programme.
Run Like the Wind !
If your core is fully restored, if you feel supported, you’re pain and leak free, you understand optimal whole body alignment and you love to run, then by all means RUN!!
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring