Q&A: How to Return to Running After Childbirth
Returning to training after having a baby is not as simple as getting the ok from your OB at your six-week visit. Your body, no matter how your new bundle of joy came into this world, vaginally or via C-section, has just been through a musculoskeletal marathon and it needs the proper time to recover.
The most common mistake new moms make is starting with their fitness routine where they left off nine months prior to having their baby. Your fitness routine needs to begin slowly, and you need to give your body the proper time to build up pelvic floor and core strength along with cardiovascular endurance.
Cross training is especially important as you return to running. Strength training, Pilates, and non-weight bearing cardio (cycling, swimming, rowing) should all help you prepare your body for the impact forces associated with running.
The experience of being pregnant and giving birth is a trauma that your body needs to heal from. It may be helpful to seek the advice from a physical therapist to assess your musculoskeletal health, and to advise you on how to begin your exercise routine. A qualified exercise physiologist or trainer may then be helpful to help progress your fitness program along appropriately.
Lastly, give yourself time! Your body has been changing for the last nine months and needs time to recover.