Running Postpartum: Are You Runing After Pregnancy?
I often get questions about running postpartum. So if you are wanting to run after pregnancy then this will be for you.
Mama Question: Hi Kerryn, My bub's 6 months now and I'd like to get back into running. I'm halfway through the 28 day Pilates challenge. Could you recommend some exercises that would prepare my body for this? Thank you, Jess
From Kerryn: This is a super common question , so I'm glad you asked it and it's up here for any other Mamas also thinking about getting back into running.
The number one thing I want you to do right now is listen to this podcast:
I interviewed Women's Health Physiotherapist, Beth Scott, about this very topic and
it's absolute gold.
So many valid points, and here are a few of them:
It depends on your prior level of fitness. There is no one time that is perfect for
getting back into running. You have to remember too that the impact on your pelvic
floor in running, obviously is of higher demand, so it depends on:
- The affect of your pregnancy on your pelvic floor (from the weight gain, hormones,
increased blood volume)
- The affect of your birth mode of delivery
- And how well you have recovered postpartum (and how consistent you have been
with your core recovery exercises).
Of course the force of gravity is working against you for the entire time you are
running, compared to say a Pilates class when for parts you are lying down, allowing
your pelvic floor less pressure from gravity.
Now here is an interesting fact:
Each woman has a different dimension of her pelvic outlet. Which means that if you
have a wider pelvic outlet the muscles have to work harder than if you have a
narrower pelvic outlet. Listen to the podcast, as Beth explains this really well.
Pregnancy can change this pelvic outlet area, but genetics also play a big role. So
never compare yourself to someone else who is running 10KM with no problems at 6
months postpartum and you're not.
Never compare yourself anyway, because often people don't tune inwards and are
not aware they are doing damage until months or even years later.
I often get women with 2, 3 or 4 year olds coming to me with Pelvic Organ Prolapse
saying they wish they recovered better post the birth of their baby.
So to answer your question in short:
You need to have a women's health physiotherapist who is SO good at what she does
to work with you to ensure your training is not having a negative impact on your
And then, yes, get going. But start progressively and don't ignore the strength
I think I'll create a 'getting back into running' program one day to really help with
this. I'll let you know when it's in the works.
The other few things to think about too are:
- Bra support
- Shoes (don't wear shoes you've had for years, invest and it will help absorb the
- Run on a softer surface like a running track rather than hard concrete.
Doing the Stronger Mama Challenge in addition to some light jogs is certainly a step
in the right direction, but check with your health care professional first for your