Running postpartum is a very a realistic goal, and it is totally attainable moms who are experienced runners, or are new to running. Just know that running postpartum often feels different than running in your pre-baby state.
Oftentimes, postpartum seasoned runners get back into running too fast. Typically, if there aren't any medical issues, moms will get clearance to slowly resume "normal activities” at their 6-week, follow-up appointment with the OB-GYN. But do these activities include running? And what about any instructions on how to run, or how much to run after having a baby?
Just because you got medical clearance to resume normal activities, doesn't necessarily mean you should return to running, even if it doesn’t hurt. In general, researching is showing that in order to allow for pelvic floor healing, you should wait until about 12 weeks until you begin running again after baby. I know that to a runner, this sounds crazy! As a runner myself, I know that running is more than a physical activity, it is a mental one too. Often, runners need that run in order to decompress.
Short term rest, to allow for prevention of long term problems.
The pelvic floor stretched 300% during vaginal births, and Cesareans are MAJOR abdominal surgery. You wouldn’t rush back into running after an ACL injury, so give your body time to heal so that you can prevent pelvic floor dysfunction later.
Just because running isn’t suggested, doesn’t mean walking is out. Typically you can start on a light walking program once you feel comfortable, at around 4 weeks postpartum. In addition to walking, strength training is one of the best things you can do to help your recovering postpartum body.
There are several things that we like to make sure that you can do before starting to run again postpartum. With all of these, you don’t want to have any pain, heaviness, incontinence or pressure symptoms.These include:
If you just had a baby, you endured pelvic tissue changes and injury. And, just like an athlete who sustained a sports injury, you should have a specialist by your side to help you return safely to running and an active lifestyle. If you are having difficulty with getting back into fitness, postpartum, don’t hesitate to reach out!
What does your morning routine look like? Does it involve you rushing around and trying to make breakfast for the kids, while drinking a quick cup of coffee, then taking a quick shower? What about breakfast? Do you usually eat it on the go or maybe skip it all together?
What if I told you that a key to a healthy pelvic floor involved a good solid morning routine? One which wasn’t too rushed, and one in which you had a nice, predictable schedule? Our bodies are creatures of habit, the more predictable and less stressed your morning, the better your body will function and thus the better you will feel.
One of the pieces of advice that I often give my clients is that it is important to take your time in the morning. Sometimes that means getting up a little earlier than you would have liked. I know that with little ones, that can often be hard. Especially if one (or more!) of your little ones decided they didn’t want to sleep at night. I encourage parents to try to avoid going to bed too late, so your chances of being able to wake up earlier, are better.
Trying to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday is a start. Try to get up at a time that is early enough so that it gives you plenty of time in the morning, but not too early that you feel sluggish for the rest of the day. This will differ for each person, depending on what your days look like.
The basic to do’s of your morning routine should include:
So, as hard as it is, it is very important that we give ourselves the time our bodies need in the morning. This will help you feel less bloated throughout the day, and will help you be on your way to a happy, healthy pelvic floor!