Over the last few weeks my blogs have discussed a number of different factors that pertain to returning to run postpartum or following an injury. Today we are going to dive a bit deeper into some of the ins and outs of returning to running after birth.
Currently there are not any national or international guidelines that standardize our practice and provide a framework to support women who wish to return to running about birth. Pain, incontinence, diastasis and prolapse are all prevalent conditions amongst postpartum runners, as I have discussed numerous times in the past. Each of these health issues can create a barrier to returning to exercise. Exercising postpartum can be extremely beneficial for stress relief and mental health, so any way we can remove barriers is going to be ideal!
Running is a high impact sport and high impact exercise has been found to have a 4.59 fold increased risk of pelvic floor dysfunction when compared to low impact exercise. Due to this, postpartum women need adequate time to rest, heal and regain strength and endurance before returning to a running program.
Experts recommend women follow a low impact exercise program for the first 3 months postpartum, followed by a carefully put together return to run program between 3 and 6 months postpartum. A specifically trained women’s health chiropractor or physical therapist can help a postpartum woman with a low impact exercise program early on that will focus on building strength and endurance, while protecting the pelvic floor and anterior abdominal wall through recovery.
If you are a mom who is interested in returning to running after having a baby or even had children many years ago, please reach out and I can help you recover, heal and progress your running routine!