What is Postpartum Running? – Part 1

Undertaking a complete nine months of pregnancy and finally giving birth can be a traumatic experience for both mind and body. Congratulations on succeeding in one of the most life changing experiences that you will ever undergo, but now it is time to get back to normality.

It is true that at the moment you may not feel anything remotely like normal and nothing like your old self, but this feeling will fade, and you will gradually want to get back to things that you love and running may be one of them. Postpartum is the period directly after birth when the uterus returns to its normal size and hormones go back to their original levels.

Understand What Your Body Has Been Through

The postpartum period is the time that your body and mind adjusts to normality once again. But you need time to reflect what your body has gone through and the healing it still has to undergo. That is why taking up old favorite pastimes such as jogging should be done slowly. There is no defined time period that you can commence with your running again, everybody is different as so is every birth. Definitely a more conservative approach to running rehabilitation is the best course of action, if you jump the gun and try to run too early then it might set you back for a considerable time.

When is it Okay to Start Running Again?

The first thing that you have to consider before exercising again is what kind of delivery you had. With a normal delivery you can commence walking very quickly afterwards. But if you went through a C-section birth you will need longer to recover. If everything is normal you can start a little light jogging around four weeks after giving birth, but any more than this should be discussed with your doctor on your fist six weeks postnatal visit. This is the time the doctor normally gives the green light for you to return to light duties and some semblance of normality.

Pre-Birth Activity

Women that remained fit and more active later into their pregnancy will find it easier to return to being active. Bear in mind that the first few weeks of postpartum is definitely not the time to start a new running regime, especially if you did not run during pregnancy or have never run before. Those that were active in their pregnancy often find it easier to start with a few light exercises after giving birth, and then to gradually build up their running regime. Exercises such as gentle pelvic ones and the like, will start building up body strength.

You should look to be doing low impact and breathing exercises in the first few weeks of postpartum, then extend this to walking and finally gentle jogging. This will give your body time to adjust and give you a great base to build upon for later more strenuous running. In part two of this blog we will be looking at more factors that can contribute to your postpartum running.