Postpartum Running: 10 Ways To Get Back Into Shape

Running after giving birth is a process. When done with caution, physical exercise can be a very useful activity and can help in removing tension, benefitting both physical and mental well-being.

If you previously jogged before giving birth or would like to start it as a new endeavour, it is important to take into account all elements that characterize exercising after having a baby.

Considerations for Returning to Running Postpartum

First and foremost: talk to your healthcare provider. The kinds of exercise you have done in the past and currently; the method of delivery you had while giving birth; and your mental health all affect the process of resuming running after you have had a baby.

For instance, your weight, breastfeeding habits, and emotional outlook may dictate what steps you should take and those who gave birth via C-section may need to allow more time to recuperate. Post-delivery, your body is readjusting all over again.

General Recovery

You must first allow for a period of full recovery from childbirth before returning to running or any kind of exercise. The specifics will differ depending on whether you gave birth naturally or underwent a cesarean section.

No matter what, you may find that you have a large amount of vaginal discharge referred to as lochia, which contains both blood and mucus. You should plan to use sanitary pads in this case.

Cramping is common and can be painful. If you had any sutures, that region will be tender. Pain and soreness are to be expected. It is unwise to attempt to restart physical activity too soon after an injury as it can be risky for your health.

Hormone Shifts

Kristin Sapienza, a pelvic floor physical therapist and head of Fem FirstHealth, has reported that hormonal imbalances while pregnant can cause orthopaedic issues, such as pain in the lower back and weak joints due to the relaxation of ligaments that can occur during pregnancy.

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti is a factor that may influence returning to a running routine. It is generally accepted that core stability is essential for any physical activity. If you have a Diastasis, it will be difficult to adequately support your posture and joints.

Abdominal muscles can be separated during pregnancy, which is known as Diastasis Recti.

Specifically, Diastasis Recti causes a gap to grow in between the rectus abdominis muscles at the centre of the body, resulting in weak abdominal muscles, back pain, and urinary stress incontinence.


Nursing can have an effect on your return to running, but it doesn’t have to stop you. Tyra Abdalla, PT, DPT, a specialist in pelvic floor health, states that breastfeeding will not impede someone’s capacity to take part in physical activity, such as running or exercising.

Studies have demonstrated that lactating women who partake in regular aerobic activities can boost their cardiovascular strength without diminishing milk production. Getting a properly fitted sports bra that provides compression is important for some women.

Altering the infant’s nutrition or pumping timetable could be something that should be taken into account. Some of my patients say they prefer to do strength training exercises before going for a jog.

It is your healthcare provider who will be able to assist you in making a secure progression to running after childbirth, however, you must remain observant of what your body is telling you.

Tips for Returning to Postpartum Running

Reentering the world of running (or beginning to run for the first time) following childbirth is a gradual process: it’s neither a race nor a rush. You will need to put in the effort to regain your stamina and speed. This process can take time. Here are X ideas for increasing mileage gradually (and wisely).

1. Walk Before You Run

Once your doctor confirms that it is okay to begin running again and you feel okay when engaged in low-impact activities such as walking, be sure to start off slowly.

Kelly suggests taking a gradual route: “Start off slowly (such as following a Couch to 5k plan of action) and only increase the intensity when you can run that amount without any type of negative symptoms.”

2. Prioritize Core and Pelvic Floor Strengthening

Enhancing the core muscles and the muscles at the base of the pelvis can be very beneficial in preparing the body to go back to jogging. Tyra states that the collection of muscles which make up the pelvic floor stretch from the front of the pubic bone in the front of our bodies to the back and attach to the tailbone.

These muscles are accountable for regulating bowel and bladder movements, providing core stability, upholding organs, facilitating sexual performance and allowing optimal lymphatic circulation. As you continue to move around during the day, your muscles make modifications to deal with the alterations in the pressure and the weight being moved.

Many mothers find that urine loss can occur when doing strenuous activities, such as running, jumping, coughing, or sneezing. It is important to remember that urine leakage is not something to feel embarrassed over, but strengthening your pelvic floor can help make your running experience more enjoyable.

If these muscles do not perform adequately, it can cause limited movement, weariness, lack of strength, and an increase in the load placed on your joints, which may lead to deterioration. Regardless of how one gave birth, pelvic floor dysfunction is a common occurrence after having a baby. Pelvic floor strengthening is only helpful if done correctly. Most people require an expert’s guidance and monitoring to effectively complete the process of engaging the pelvic floor muscles.

Tyra claims that, although Kegels are widely recognized, they are not the answer to every difficulty concerning the pelvic floor and can even be counterproductive. It is essential to consult with an expert instead of attempting to diagnose oneself.

3. Practice Proper Running Form and Breathing

Using the correct form and correctly taking breaths is key to being able to start running again.

Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth is often suggested for physical exertion, but this method may not be efficient during aerobic exercise such as running. This could be an issue if you are jogging rapidly or if you are just getting back into the habit after a break.

The act of running usually necessitates both inhaling and exhaling through one’s nostrils and mouth to provide enough oxygen.

Utilizing diaphragmatic or profound stomach breathing can likewise assist with improving your breathing effectiveness while running. It would be wise to go through this routine a few moments per day while you are lying down, before growing to the point of doing it while either sitting or standing, which will eventually assist you in breathing effectively while jogging.

Your running posture is more than just your appearance. Having proper form while running will ensure the safety and efficiency of your workout.

Aside from foot placement, correct running form encompasses posture, the way your arms and hands are held, and even your line of sight while running.

You might want to look into hiring a running coach if you feel like you need extra help to become at ease.

4. Incorporate Cross-Training

No matter what your shape or the power of your pelvic floor muscles is, it is critical to not overexert yourself. Consider an interval exercise, moving between walking and running.

On days when you don’t go for a run, consider doing yoga, lifting weights (but only once you’ve been cleared by a doctor 12 weeks after any surgery), or taking a leisurely walk.

5. Wait Before Breaking Out the Running Stroller

Some moms take advantage of running as an opportunity to connect with their infants. It is not suggested to go jogging with a baby in a pushchair until the infant is 6 to 8 months older and can support their head.

Kelly advises consulting a paediatrician for any worries, She adds that a useful attribute of a jogging stroller would be an attachment that you can secure around your wrist whose opposite end is attached to the handlebar of the stroller. This way, you can push it ahead of you, and then chase after it.

Using the leash will ensure you have command over the stroller for a secure exercise while trying to maintain a standard running posture.

6. Start Small

When you’ve been running regularly for some time and are then unexpectedly made to cease, it can be difficult to feel calm about going back to it.

Do not let yourself be distracted by your expectations for long jogs, personal best times, or upcoming races as you start running again. Try your best to not think about these for the moment.

When thinking about postpartum running, it is essential to come up with objectives that take into account your current abilities.

No matter what shape you were in while pregnant, be it running 40 miles a week or jogging at 8 minutes a mile pace, postnatal running will look different.

Despite returning to your normal fitness routine quite rapidly, your running activities in the initial weeks after having a baby will differ noticeably. Have the scheme to initiate gradually with your coaching by setting apart times for briefer, less consistent jogs.

This is a great opportunity to incrementally reestablish your running regimen, incrementing the number of miles covered over time while paying close attention to how it feels rather than using figures. The way to have a secure and sound comeback to running after childbirth is to take it easy and be content with beginning from the basics.

7. Reduce your Running Expectations

It can be very disheartening to set out for a jog thinking you’ll complete it at a swift 10 minutes per mile, only to find yourself already tired and running slower at 12 minutes per mile.

It is essential to have reasonable expectations for yourself when transitioning back to running post-birth to maintain enthusiasm and stay committed to your training for the long haul.

Tell yourself that your body has experienced considerable distress. It has recently experienced childbirth, and in the preceding months, it was expanding and growing while sustaining another person. Getting back to a healthy place after such a traumatic experience is no easy feat.

Including exercise in your daily routine is a great way to enhance your emotions, reduce tension and maintain your well-being during the postpartum time, but excessive physical activity will only make matters worse.

Keep in mind that it took a full nine months of transformation to give birth to another person, so you should expect that it will likely take at least nine months for conditions to return to the way they were and for a full recovery.

Throw away any preconceived notions you have about running and go outdoors to stay active, stay fit, and pay attention to how your body is feeling. Ignore your accustomed speeds and lengths, and instead, gauge your jogging according to the signals your body is providing.

8. Prioritize Recovery

If you are prepared to begin going for runs again after having a baby, keep in mind that it is not only a good idea to start off slowly, but also to do it securely. Navigating postpartum running with caution means being forgiving to your body and putting importance on activities we loathe such as healing.

It is very important that you set aside time for activities such as stretching, warming up, cooling down, foam rolling and taking rest days if you want to achieve success in running again after giving birth. No matter if you ran less as your pregnancy went on, or kept running until the day you gave birth, your body still ended up taking significant breaks from the sport.

Give your muscles a break and promote their healing by doing activities that help them become accustomed to running, thus encouraging healthy development and lessening the risk of harm.

Making stretching a priority is vital, no matter whether you are fond of it or not. The sooner you commit to different recuperation methods, the simpler it will be to start running again.

9. Implement Regular Cross Training

We certainly wished that we could maintain our fitness levels during or after giving birth, however, this was not the case. It can be difficult to accept, especially if you exercised regularly during your pregnancy, but having a baby and the initial weeks after may completely reverse any physical fitness gains attained during pregnancy.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that you can never reach your previous level of physical fitness again. It’s fortunate that if you were active while pregnant, you should be able to regain your pre-pregnancy state in a fairly short amount of time.

However, if you intend on running again after giving birth, it is essential to include multiple days of cross-training each week in your plan.

As you start your running after pregnancy, you’ll be running much less often and not as long as before you were expecting. The reduced distance travelled will provide additional time to pursue other activities.

It is essential to switch up your routine when exercising to avoid the risk of injury and exhaustion, both mentally and physically, when taking to the roads again. Doing a range of different activities that are beneficial for fitness and health is called cross-training. This could be a short stroll close to where you live, visiting the gym, working on some core exercises that are often suggested for new mothers, or following a yoga program.

Look for some different activities that make you feel content and include them in your program as you take up running again.

10. Find a Purpose

There’s no denying it: staying motivated to keep up with running after giving birth is tough. Due to lack of rest, the absence of an everyday schedule, the strain of recovering from giving birth, and a significant transformation in life – the least desirable task in the first few weeks and months for anyone is often taking care of themselves.

Taking some time for yourself and having the opportunity to get outdoors and get some exercise can be really useful for maintaining a good mindset and dealing with the different mental and physical changes that come with this situation.

If you have chosen to go back to running after having a baby, remember the reason you made that decision. Keep in mind that this is all for you, and spend some time consciously choosing your goal.

Having a goal in mind makes it simpler to go out and face the day. Without a distinct aim, it will be all the more likely to leave out or give up after an especially hard evening, anxious day or anything else hindrance.

Recollect the reason which initiated your fascination with running and set a few achievable objectives. Dedicate yourself to that purpose on an everyday basis while emphasizing your importance.


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