Running after childbirth, here is some good advice.
Many of our patients want to stay active after they have their baby. The question is, how soon is too soon and the answer is, it depends.
If you had a normal birth, it is likely that you can return to running within four to six weeks after your child was born. If you had a C-section, it can vary but it also depends on how you healed and whether there were any complications.
One thing to be aware of is that relaxin, a hormone that is pre-pregnancy that helps loosen the ligaments for delivery may cause problems in the joints, so waiting a few weeks is not a bad idea.
My advice is the start slow and then gradually build up your tolerance to running distances. If you had a c section, usually 7-10 weeks after the pregnancy, the scar has sufficiently healed and it is a good idea, to begin with, pelvic and core strengthening exercises prior to running since the area of the incision is likely to strain and even feel achy if you do not tone the area up first.
Check out this web site; some great advice for new moms.
What You Should Know About Running After Having a Baby
March 21, 2017
I remember my first run after my daughter was born. I cried.
I ran during most of my pregnancy so I hadn’t been away from running for that long (or so I thought) and I got back out there and it was painful, uncomfortable, exhausting, and a huge reality check. It was emotional (or was it my fluctuating post-pregnancy hormones?) for me to face everything my body had been through, while at the same time feeling motivated to overcome a traumatic c-section and achieve my first realistic post-pregnancy fitness goal (running the Philly 10K).
Side note: I was 7 months postpartum for that race versus my first unrealistic fitness goal to run the Broad Street 10-Miler at 3 months postpartum, which I ended up deferring.
Running can seem like an ideal form of exercise for a new mom, but there are a few things you should know before lacing up your sneakers-the the first being, you might need new sneakers. If you don’t have “running shoes”, or wearing the same pair frequently during pregnancy, or maybe your feet are larger than before, then go get fitted for a proper pair.
1. Consider safety…
MEDICAL CLEARANCE: Although for some women it can be safe to resume physical activity even just days after having a baby, running is a high-impact activity and I recommend using the 4-6 weeks before your postpartum exam to strengthen weakened muscles, rather than run. Your doctor can then assess whether you have diastasis recti (separation of the rectus abdominis muscle-decent image and explanation found here) or whether you have pelvic floor concerns. Both of which, in addition to your core strength, should be taken into account before beginning to run or perform any vigorous exercise activity.
Anterior pelvic tilt. Common posture to be corrected postpartum.
ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT. COMMON POSTURE DURING TO BE CORRECTED POSTPARTUM.
RELAXIN- that’s a hormone that increases during pregnancy to relax your ligaments in order to prepare your body for the growth of the baby and childbirth. This hormone can hang around months postpartum, meaning your joints may remain unstable, malaligned, and prone to injury. Combining weak core muscles, stretchy ligaments, and the impact of running could be a recipe for injury. Make sure you start at a low intensity and gradually increase the distance and speed when you’re sure your body is ready.
HYDRATE-this is true for everyone when exercising, but especially true for women who are breastfeeding.
FATIGUE: if your baby still isn’t clocking regular hours and you’re feeling fatigued, high-intensity exercise like running may not be the best option. Physical activity should help repair your body, not make it feel worse.