Are you ready to run?
We often focus our return to activity post baby on time frames, the magical 6-8 weeks after giving birth. This can be appropriate for many activities like walking, pilates, yoga and other gentle exercise. However, running is considered a whole different ball game.
Return to running post pregnancy is “preparedness” related, not timeline related.
We know from recent studies that changes in trunk and pelvic motion that occur during pregnancy (to be able to grow and birth a baby) are not back to a pre-pregnancy state at 6 weeks postpartum and can actually take more then 6 months to correct. The locomotive form change during pregnancy is necessary to compensate for the change in the centre of gravity that occurs with a growing baby. However, once we birth our baby these changes are no longer necessary but tend to linger in the way we move and may remain present when we return to high impact activity unless we work on changing them.
Unfortunately for mums, its not as simple as waiting it out for 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months. We cannot expect a mum to do no or low impact activities, and then be ready to run. It is important to undertake a graded return to running program to ensure a safe and durable return to running post-partum.
Recent guidelines have been created by the dedicated work of international physiotherapists Tom Goom, Gráinne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell who have a passion in increasing awareness about the importance of safe and timely return to running postnatal.
Essentially these guidelines highlight the importance of strength, speed and coordination of pelvic floor muscle contraction in order to support the pelvic organs and maintain continence during high impact activities like running.
The guidelines recommend a low impact exercise timeline is followed within the first 3 months of the postnatal period, followed by a return to running between 3- 6 months postnatally, at the earliest. In addition to this, every postnatal mother, regardless of delivery mode, should be seek a pelvic health assessment (from 6-weeks postnatal) with a women’s health physiotherapist to comprehensively assess the abdominal wall and pelvic floor.
If you have any of the following signs or symptoms prior to, or after attempting, a return to running, a pelvic health assessment with us will be beneficial in ensuring a reduction or prevention of symptoms and a safe return.
• Heaviness/ dragging in the pelvic area (can be associated with prolapse)
• Leaking urine or inability to control bowel movements
• Pendular abdomen or noticeable gap along the midline of your abdominal wall. (This may indicate Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA))
• Pelvic or lower back pain
I am passionate about being a mum, and passionate about exercise. I understand the time restraints we have to exercise but also the need to feel like yourself in your body. If you are wondering if an assessment will help you, don’t hesitate to call us on 43 843395 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.