A question I get asked a lot by post natal women is this one. When can I start running again? It seems that once a runner, always a runner, and I do get that. Running can be a great way to exercise, drop a few pounds of fat and generally get you out and about. It's good for the mind and for clearing your head. However! The first few months following birth are not the best time to be getting your running shoes back on again. I'm here to tell you that having a baby is a MAJOR deal. It has put unbelievable stress on your core muscles and yes, that includes your pelvic floor. If you think about how much pressure has been bearing downwards on the pelvic floor during pregnancy and outwards on the stomach, it's no surprise that it takes months to heal properly and get strong again.
Think about the pounding of your feet on the pavement and how that must effect the muscles in the pelvic floor. Slamming your feet on concrete for an hour is not going to do you any favours. I've known plenty of women that think they are ok in the pelvic floor department but then when they get out to run, they're glad they went in the dark so nobody could see their trousers! Seriously, your body is telling you that it is not ready for the impact of running.
Before panic starts to set in, there are plenty of other, more suitable exercises for you to do. You can swim, cycle (obviously after any wounds have healed, yes they are wounds!), attend specific post natal sessions, pilates, yoga, brisk walking with your baby in the buggy. Lots of ways to get that clarity and head space.
I always advise women to take at least six months before running again and that is of course, entirely dependent on the individual. You would need to try a short jog first and see how you got on. I don't expect people to never run again but at least do it safely and when you are completely healed and ready.
Get strong from the inside out, that is the way forward. There is plenty of time to get back out there!
See you soon,