Last Updated on 28 mins by Eva
It doesn’t matter if you ran marathons before getting pregnant or you just want to get into running post-baby. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about when can you start running after having a baby.
Although you may have run a lot before baby, you need to be very mindful when getting back into your running routine postpartum. Your body went through enormous changes in a short amount of time and it isn’t going to magically snap back into where it was pre-baby.
You will need tools and a plan to get that body its previous strength and stability to get back into running safely.
So whether you had your baby a few months or years ago, here are 5 tips to help you start running after having a baby:
You probably know you should wait until your doctor gives you a green light on the first postpartum check-up with any exercise or intensive physical activity. However, when it comes to running, the truth is, you might not be ready until 5-6 months postpartum.
I know it seems like forever, especially if you can’t wait to get back to your running routine but hear me out.
The first 6 months postpartum, your body goes through a healing process and there is a hormonal cocktail flowing through your body that makes you more prone to injuries. And if you are also breastfeeding, your boobs might feel really uncomfortable when you try running.
Running is a very challenging type of activity so don’t rush into it. Take your time and allow your body to heal before you challenge it again.
Pelvic floor issues
Pelvic floor issues after having a baby are so common in women these days! Yet most of us don’t understand they have pelvic floor dysfunction, ignore the symptoms or just “settle” for it as a mom badge.
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include incontinence, lower belly pain or discomfort, painful sex, or even pelvic organ prolapse.
Our pelvic floor muscles have to handle tremendous pressure from the growing baby for long months, so they need our attention first and foremost. We need to heal the pelvic floor first and make sure it can handle pressure well before moving onto demanding physical activities like running or weight lifting.
So, before you get back into your previous exercising or running routine, make sure you get your pelvic floor checked by a PT to look for possible dysfunction and tools to improve its strength.
Check your alignment
Good posture matters more than you might think and it is so important to watch your alignment postpartum. Most of us tend to tuck our butt under the pelvis and stick our belly out after having a baby because we spent long months in this position when we were carrying our baby.
So how is bad posture affecting our postpartum body?
Incorrect alignment creates intra-abdominal pressure that prevents your postpartum core from healing. Without decreasing the pressure, your core won´t firm up.
The wrong alignment prevents the gap from narrowing because the abdominal muscle connective tissue (fascia) is not healing and stays stretched and weak.
So make sure you maintain a good posture:
- come up tall
- untuck your butt
- stack your ribs on pelvis
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Great body alignment decreases pressure and gives diastasis recti and pelvic floor weakness a chance to heal.
Take a deep breath
Breathing is our foundation and it affects our entire body. It helps to regulate intra-abdominal pressure, affects stress hormone levels, and promotes healing and tissue repair.
Our muscles are working to pull air into our lungs and then push the air out. There are several muscle groups that work tirelessly in this beautiful synchrony.
When you are pregnant, it gets difficult to get a deep breath because the baby is taking up space.
In most women, the difficulty to get a deep breath continues beyond pregnancy. We tend to have a shallow breathing pattern that causes the core muscles not to work in the right way, which affects the healing of diastasis and pelvic floor issues.
To get out of that shallow breathing pattern, try learning the 360-degree breathing method. With 360-breathing, you take a deep breath that stretches out your ribcage in front, back, and also on the side and contracts the pelvic floor. Deep breathing strengthens your deep core muscles, helps to heal diastasis and pelvic floor, and leaves your neck and midback feeling amazing!
Learning how to breathe correctly is an essential thing to start running after having a baby! Check out my Instagram reel to find out more about how to practise 360-breathing.
Untuck your butt
Our glutes are a part of our postpartum body that is often overlooked. Glutes support our hips and lower back literally every step we take. That applies to running as well.
The truth is that the “mom” butt or the “pancake” butt can show up postpartum due to weight shifts that our body experiences during pregnancy.
Weak glutes can cause a bunch of health issues such as knee pain, lower back pain or feet pronation.
The glutes are a key part of our core system and they work closely with our pelvic floor. So having strong glutes can have a huge impact on how your core, pelvic floor, and entire body feels and functions.
Strong glutes mean a strong and functional pelvic floor, less pain, and better quality of life.
Strengthening your glutes does not mean you have to squat heavy. Here are some great banded exercises that you can do literally everywhere and you will feel the burn for sure 🙂
Rebuild your strengh
Strength training is essential before you start running after having a baby. You need your body to be strong enough to handle the load and impact of running.
Your body has gone through a lot of changes during pregnancy. There are muscle groups that might have completely checked out while you were pregnant. Some muscle groups have become more dominant due to weight shifts and changed body alignment.
So before you hop back on track, it is important to get your body ready and regain it=s previous strength so you don’t end up hurting yourself.
Sounds like a lot of work
You might ask “do I really need to do all this before I start running after having a baby?” I feel good, why can´t I just hop back on track again and try how it feels?
My answer is yes, you need to do all of it. And it will be 100% worth your time. Because if you invest your time and effort into properly healing after pregnancy and birth, you will be able to enjoy running just like before. Or maybe even more 🙂
I know you want to start as soon as possible, I know you can´t wait to get back there, I know you want some time for yourself to clear your head. I hear you.
But if you want to heal your core, pelvic floor and fully recover from having a baby and get back to running safely, this is what you need to do.
Because if you rush, you risk injuries, diastasis, or prolapse getting worse.