Can You Run after Pregnancy
Can you run after pregnancy? Is it good for you? How will it impact on your recovery? These are all good questions that need to be addressed.
In my podcast below I chat to our Women’s Health Physio.
Are you in a rush to get moving, and maybe going too hard too soon? I want you to take a moment now and remember yous should be focusing on your recovery first.
Going well at your six-week postnatal check with your doctor doesn’t mean you should start running straight away.
You don’t want to have regret later on that you went in too soon. Just as in pregnancy, there is no magical number of weeks until you can start running postpartum.
How was your birth, what are you demands at home, what support do you have, how are going with sleep and rest?
There is an individual journey for each woman and tuning inwards to how you are feeling as well as getting expert individual assessment from a trained health care professional is important.
Building up to running is also very important. You wouldn’t run straight after knee surgery. You go through recovery first.
That’s why our PregActive for Mamas program is a 12 module solution to help build your strength and stamina progressively.
Can You Run after Pregnancy
Mode of Birth
Birth and delivery mode needs to be considered in terms of pelvic floor recovery post-birth. If you have had a caesarean, pelvic floor is still very important.
Why Do You Want to Run after Pregnancy?
Often it’s that feeling of freedom or a quick sweat that women want post-birth, which is why going for a run seems like a good idea.
Before you jump back into high intensity it’s important to progress strength. This is where the PregActive for Mamas Online Studio is here to help you reduce your risk of issues months, or even years down the track.
Your Vagina is Shaped Differently to Hers
How can some women run with no issues and others it seems impossible. Sometimes women don’t even know what is going on in their own body.
Everything looks okay on the outside, but on the inside it could be a prolapse waiting to happen.
Women’s Health Physiotherapist have skills and tools to assess a women’s pelvic health postpartum.
The dimensions of your pelvic outlet can change during your pregnancy and birth (regardless of vaginal or caesarean delivery).
If the pelvic floor is sitting in a wider space, it has less support and a higher risk of prolapse if there is too much pressure (i.e running or high intensity exercise).
Genetics have an impact on this too. You could be at a higher risk of the pelvic floor sitting in a position that doesn’t support the pelvic organs as well as it once did.
You can still be strong, but if anatomically this outlet is wider, you are at higher risk.
It is known that proper recovery postpartum can help recover this (including corrective pelvic floor exercises), but it’s even more effective if done straight after birth and not years down the track.
The body is so individual, never compare yourself to someone else. You don’t know how their body is coping, and need to be aware on how your body is going to cope.
You can’t access yourself for this, which is why a pelvic floor examination is important.
Stay tuned for our PregActive Podcast on Pelvic floor Examination (what is involved and what you need to know) is coming soon with Beth Scott.
Consequences of Running after Pregnancy
Going in too quickly to running or high intensity exercise could impact how you travel in consequences pregnancies and your recovery after those pregnancies.
It’s something a lot of women don’t think about until it’s too late.
Having issues such as a dysfunctional pelvic floor or a pelvic organ prolapse can affect you mentally and emotionally. Be mindful of this before you head out for a run, a walk might be a better idea.
How soon after birth can you run?
What’s some advice you would give women wanting to get back into running?
Don’t go in too quickly. Never has a woman regretted taking her time with postpartum recovery. Many a time women have regretted going in too quickly.
After childbirth is the time to look after yourself as well as enjoying the precious time with your newborn. Your body has been through a lot and you’ll be tired from sleepless nights.
The pregnancy hormone relaxin continues to be released for five to six months postpartum and your hormonal cycle will not return to normal until after you finish breastfeeding.
So, I want you to listen to your body and follow medical advice before embarking on a rigorous running program.
How to Know if Your Pelvic Floor is Strong Enough
How to know if you pelvic floor is strong enough to run is a question that you need expert, individual advice with.
It’s not something you want to ‘test out’ for yourself. If you go for a short run and don’t pee yourself, it’s not a sign to then go for a longer run, as you could potentially be doing more damage.
In saying that, for some women running is fine and they have no issues ongoing. Just remember that ‘your vagina is not like hers’ and not to compare yourself to someone else.
We’re talking in respect to running, but this is important information for every day bra-wearing too. Seeing a specialist that can fit you is a really good idea, especially for new mothers.
Breast tissue are subject to gravity and it’s important that we are supporting, but not putting too much pressure.
If you are just layering old crop tops, it might not be helping.
Your sports bra that you had before pregnancy isn’t going to fit.
The support of the bra itself needs to be around the torso area. It’s like wearing a back back, the straps around the shoulders shouldn’t be doing all the work.
Think about the compression, you don’t want to be blocking your ducts that can increase your changes
Feeding before you run is important. Don’t run if you are due to feed.
Making sure you get fitted properly is important. A sports bra that can work with your breasts as they fill and release if breast feeding is also something to consider.
Supportive Footwear and Running Surfaces
Choosing the surface that you run on is important. Hard concrete is not forgiving. If you have an athletics track near you or running on gravel or grass can be a softer option.
Getting a new pair of shoes is important. You need optimal support and you may have potentially changed size.