Creating a healthier, happier you.
WHEN CAN YOU START RUNNING AFTER HAVING A BABY
After having my first baby, I was so eager to move my body again.
I knew I couldn’t just jump back into my gym routine, so I turned to cardio. But cardio, specifically running, was not the right choice for my diastasis recti and pelvic floor.
As a pre and post-natal specialist, I love helping women heal their pelvic floor and diastasis recti so they can feel confident returning to their workouts. But I always say, go slow and really listen to your body.
So let’s talk about when it’s safe to resume running after you have a baby!
START WITH A PELVIC FLOOR ASSESSMENT
In March 2019, the first-ever guidelines were released, offering evidence-based recommendations for postnatal women returning to running. Goom, Donnelly & Brockwell (2019), in their article Returning to running postnatal – guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population, recommend four essential points for women planning on exercising after giving birth:
- Regardless of delivery mode, postnatal women should be assessed by a pelvic floor specialist before returning to running or high-impact sports.
- Postnatal women should wait until at least 12 weeks before returning to a running program. This timeline is a guideline and should be discussed with your pelvic floor specialist as everyone is different.
- Assessment of pelvic health and load management to see the whole body’s readiness to return to running postpartum should be completed.
- Consider other factors that may impact returning to running, including weight, breathing, fitness, mental state, sleep deprivations, breastfeeding, abdominal separation, etc.
HERE'S HOW TO SELF-ASSESS
I always tell my clients to do a self-assessment as well to know if your core and pelvic floor can handle high intensity. You may be ready to resume running if:
1.You can properly squeeze your fingers when you do a kegel.
Kegels are a great way to determine the strength of your pelvic floor at any point in your journey through womanhood and motherhood. If doing a kegel feels difficult, you may need to build that strength back up before returning to running.
2. You aren’t experiencing incontinence while running.
Many women think this is normal after a baby, but it’s not. It’s common, but it doesn’t need to be the expectation. It’s perfectly doable for women to build their pelvic floor back up so these “accidents” don’t happen anymore. Because running is a higher-impact movement, you’ll want to repair your body before putting that pressure on your pelvic floor.
3.You no longer feel a “heaviness” when running.
I remember feeling a heaviness in my pelvic floor after having a baby, and that was a sign that my pelvic floor wasn’t operating as well as it could. Again, we don’t want to put extra pressure on that area by running before we’re ready, so this is a sure sign that you need to rehab your pelvic floor first.
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES CAN HELP YOU REPAIR YOUR BODY
If you’re experiencing any heaviness or incontinence or having trouble doing Kegels, the next step for you will be to practice pelvic floor exercises to repair. There are exercises you can do on your own, but if you need extra support on that journey, my Postpartum Training Program will take you through safe and easy steps to heal your diastasis recti and pelvic floor.
Remember, the whole goal here is to take things slow and easy to avoid injuring yourself. Your body needs to heal and recover before you can rebuild. By following these guidelines and tips, you can feel confident knowing that once you start exercising again, it will be a safe and enjoyable experience.
So when can you run? Waiting 12-weeks is the expert advice, but some women may need to repair their pelvic floors first, while others may be ready a little sooner. Remember, you can always walk first!
As always, be patient, listen to your body, understand the why behind your symptoms, train gradually, and enjoy your journey back to higher-impact movement.
Related: Build a Postpartum Body
I'm a mom of 4 and have been a certified personal trainer with specialties in pre- and postnatal fitness for 13 years. I'm also a certified nutrition specialist and certified meditation and mindfulness coach.
I am passionate about helping women change their lifestyles to be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves and I've seen it happen for thousands of women.
I'm glad you're here!
Community. We are a team and community of women committed to the creating the best in each other and ourselves. We lift, encourage, invite, and educate.
Movement. We know that moving your body makes your feel good and function better! Let use help you gain confidence and strength in your body.
Nutrition. Health starts from the inside out. We believe that balance and sustainability are best practices for achieving success in a healthy relationship with food.
Mindset. In focusing on your holistic health, we know the powerful effect mindset has your health and wellness. Learn techniques and practices to that ground you in habits for overall well-being.
GET THE GOOD STUFF
Need to repair your ab separation?
Bree's FREE Postpartum Core Repair Guide walks you through specific breathing exercises and movements to repair diastasis recti.POSTPARTUM CORE REPAIR
Looking for a new training program during your postpartum journey?
As a certified postnatal specialist I developed my Postpartum Training Programs to safely repair your body after birth and prioritize your mental health!GET STARTED
Trying to increase your energy?
Try BodyByBree Digestive Enzyme + Probiotic Gut Health Bundle, which will help you increase energy levels from your body's reduced effort of digestion.BODYBYBREE GUT HEALTH