Running seems to be the sport par excellence when you're on maternity leave. With our irregular rhythm as new moms, it's nice to spontaneously leave the house to get some fresh air and to move with baby.
Whether you were a runner or not before your pregnancy, it is important to follow the postnatal fitness steps one at a time before starting the race. Specific exercises for our pelvic and abdominal rehabilitation will allow us to resume running safely and effectively without injury.
Above all, you have to rehabilitate your abs and your pelvic floor
First, specialists recommend a return to physical exercise 4 to 6 weeks after delivery if you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and 6 to 8 weeks after delivery if you had a caesarean section. Before starting any sport again, especially running, which is a high impact sport, you must undertake postnatal training specific to the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor and abdominals. If this postnatal training step is neglected before starting aimpact sport like running, the new mother may feel discomfort during training and ultimately she could get injured.
- If the abdominals are too weak to properly stabilize the pelvis, the new mother will adopt a bad running posture which could aggravate the separation of her rectus muscles and also cause musculoskeletal disorders.
- Studies report that 50% of women who have given birth naturally or by caesarean section will have organ descent and that 5 to 10% of them will not even feel the symptoms! One of the factors that increases the risk of this descent is the practice of physical activities with impact - such as running - which imposes a force equivalent to three times the weight of your body on the weakened perineum of new mothers.
To summarize, the specific training stage for the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor and abdominals is essential to complete before starting the run. A trainer specializing in perinatality will be able to offer you core exercises adapted to your needs in combination with low impact cardiovascular exercises.
Go see a specialist
After working on strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominals, it is recommended to consult a specialist in perineal rehabilitation who can validate if you are ready to start running at foot. A physiotherapist will be able toindicate the strength and endurance of the perineum and establish, if necessary, an appropriate treatment plan. On average, it is best to wait 4-6 months before starting running again, but this varies from person to person. It is basically the perineal rehabilitation physiotherapist who will be able to assess whether or not you can safely start running.
Don't get carried away too quickly, it is very important to take it gradually with the return to running and to listen to your body. Experienced former runner or not, it is necessary, during the first running training sessions, to alternate walking and running, and to take a break between the days of outing since the pelvic floor needs rest following this new effort. Even if the perineum is rehabilitated, the impact of running tends to make it more flexible and it needs recovery time and strengthening exercises between each workout. Pay attention to your body's signs and if the urinary leakage and discomfort returns again, return to a perineal consultation with a physiotherapist.
Running is a super fun sport for new moms that lets them get back in shape with baby while breathing in the fresh air. To avoid injuries and the descent of organs by resuming running, let yourself be supervised by specialists in training and physiotherapy who will be able to give you the tools necessary to put on your running shoes.when your perineum and abs are ready to do so. One step at a time!