So, you have just had a baby and you are about to put on your runners and hit the pavement. Is there anything that you would like to know before you start? Are you having issues that you would like addressed but don’t know where to begin?
Returning to running is a common goal that we see among new mother’s in our clinic. Often they plan on running soon after birth but don’t know how to go about it or what to look out for before starting. Returning before you are ready can sometimes lead to injury or other issues such as incontinence, so it’s important to seek guidance from a health care professional.
In March 2019, new international guidelines were released to help support health professionals (such as Physiotherapists) who work with post-natal women. These guidelines aim to provide a basis for helping women safely and confidently return to running and sport after birth.
The 4 main points that appear in these guidelines are:
- Women can benefit from an individualised assessment and rehabilitation program for the pelvic floor after delivery. This program will focus on treatment and prevention of prolapse, incontinence and also improving sexual function.
- Returning to running is not recommended prior to 3 months after delivery. This time is extended if women are experiencing pelvic floor symptoms such as incontinence.
- We should consider body weight, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, scar tissue and psychological status as part of the overall health of the mother when determining readiness to run.
- Once a woman has reached 3 months post-natal and does not have any pelvic floor issues then a graded running program can commence. The program should be monitored and modified as required.
As you can see, returning to running after having a baby is a little more complicated than you might think! Here at Fitwise, we want to see all mother’s reach their fitness goals, so let us know when you are planning on putting your running shoes on and we can help you get back on track, safely!
Please note that information provided in this article is general advice only. For individual advice, we recommend a consultation. For more information or to book an appointment, you can…
- Contact our friendly reception team on 9822 4999 (Armadale) or 9486 0512 (East Melbourne)
- Book online. Select ‘make a booking’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen and follow the prompts
- Email us on [email protected]
Source: Returning to running postnatal – guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population. Tom Goom, Gráinne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell Published – March 2019.