Running After Babies

Running After Babies: Embrace the Journey and Take It Slow

Dr. Linnea Omholt, Physical Therapist

Becoming a parent is a joyous and transformative experience, but it also brings significant changes to your daily routine and personal goals. For many moms, reclaiming their pre-baby fitness and embracing an active lifestyle becomes a priority. It doesn’t help that there is so much pressure to bounce back. Please know that it is not normal to be running 5ks or more 3 months after giving birth! It is crucial to approach this process with patience, understanding, and a focus on individual progress. In this blog post, we'll explore some essential considerations for new moms looking to resume running after having a baby.

Take It Slow: The key to successful postpartum running is to take it slow. Your body has undergone significant changes during pregnancy and childbirth, and it requires time to heal and recover fully. Start with gentle exercises and low-impact activities, such as walking or light mobility exercises, to gradually rebuild your strength and endurance. Give yourself permission to take baby steps towards your running goals and celebrate every milestone along the way.

Everyone is on a Different Timeline: Remember that everyone's postpartum journey is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to resuming physical activities. Comparing yourself to other moms or setting unrealistic expectations can be discouraging and counterproductive. Listen to your body, trust its signals, and honor your own timeline. Embrace the process of rediscovering your body's capabilities at a pace that feels right for you.

Rehab and Progress Into It: Prioritizing rehabilitation and a gradual progression is paramount when it comes to postpartum running. Begin by focusing on core and pelvic floor exercises to rebuild strength and stability in those areas, as they are often affected during pregnancy and childbirth. Consult a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or a personal trainer certified in postpartum fitness, to create a personalized exercise plan that addresses your specific needs. Gradually incorporate running intervals or short jogs into your routine, always paying attention to how your body responds and adjusting accordingly.

Reach Out for Help: As a new parent, it's natural to have questions or concerns about resuming physical activity, especially if you're unsure about any lingering discomfort or potential risks. Reach out for help and guidance. Symptoms such as leaking (even while coughing or laughing), pelvic pain, low back pain, or other joint issues can be alleviated with the help of a physical therapist. While these symptoms are very common in the postpartum period, they are not something to ignore. Additionally, going through this recovery can take not just months, but years. Joining a supportive community of fellow parents can provide you with valuable insights and reassurance. Remember, you don't have to navigate this journey alone.

Running after having a baby is an exciting goal that requires a thoughtful and patient approach. By taking it slow, acknowledging that everyone's journey is different, prioritizing rehabilitation, and seeking help when needed, you can create a positive and empowering experience. Embrace the process, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the newfound strength and resilience that running can bring to your life as a parent. Remember, you are capable, and with time and determination, you'll find your stride once again. Happy running!