When do you start running again after giving birth?

Running is a popular sport for many women, whether it is recreational or competitive. Running is a (time) efficient way to improve physical fitness, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, often takes your mind off things for a while or, for some, is a fun social activity. All these benefits help you maintain your personal balance, something that is very important, especially as a new mum.

So if walking during your pregnancy starts to become too difficult, you can certainly adapt to brisk walking or another sport, but when can you finally start walking again after giving birth? Again, several factors play a role in this. There are no strict guidelines or milestones. Everything depends on your pregnancy, your delivery and your postnatal weeks.

The first few weeks may not be on your mind at all. Are you doing better? Feel like building up again? If so, it is best to start again with (brisk) walks: walking outside will probably do you and your newborn baby a lot of good. Building up gradually is a principle we have discussed before in an instagram/facebook post and it is extremely important here too.
Don't forget that pregnancy and childbirth have demanded a lot from your body, which is why the pelvic floor also needs attention and rehabilitation.
"Running will increase the pressure and shock on your pelvic organs."
Is that dangerous? Not at all, but it could be that your pelvic floor has not yet recovered and strengthened enough to handle that pressure properly.
Maybe you don't have enough strength in your pelvic floor muscles yet or lack stamina? Or maybe you started to tighten your muscles too much because of the pain after giving birth?

That is why it is advisable to have your pelvic floor checked by a specialised physiotherapist. He or she will examine you and can give you personal advice on your training schedule, on the best preparatory exercises (for you) and so on.

On average, we do not recommend really resuming running during the first three months after giving birth.
Some experienced runners may be able to start earlier,
but build up slowly and be well prepared:

- Pelvic floor muscle exercises

- Core Stability Exercises (remember that muscle corset! Your pelvic floor doesn't work alone)

- Dropouts, Bridging, Squatting, etc.

are really the smartest option for most new mums.

So it is not a luxury to pay some EXTRA attention to your postnatal "start to run"!  

Looking for more examples, more tips and more advice?
Keep an eye on our platform! We are working hard to provide more information.
Keep following #tobecontinued

We also published an article in 2019 in AXXON Expert Magazine, the trade journal for specialist physiotherapists, about this.
With extra info! Would you like to read it? Definitely do so!

If you would like to explore the guidelines in more depth, there is only one real recommendation: The complete (English) Return to run guidelines by- Tom Goom, Gráinne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell. They have also made very nice infographics.

We have translated them for you and are happy to share them! (also PDF available)

#sharingknowledge #empoweringwomen #raisingawareness #womensplayvichealth

PDF versions downloadable via LinkedIn Hedwig Neels on pm

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