Pre/post natal running guidelines
There are many pieces of advice out there on the safety of running in pre and post natal women. Whilst pregnant as long as you are in good health and were running long before falling pregnant then you should be fine to continue with your midwifes say so and as long as you feel comfortable.
It is during the post natal period that I feel you need to be more cautious.
Considerations for running postnatally would be:
Was the delivery natural or by cesearean?
If you delivered by section I would advise waiting six months before commencing any serious running programme and certainly any specific run or race.
Even where there has been a natural delivery with no issues, you have to remember the stress that your pelvic floor has undertaken during pregnancy and labour. Relaxin levels are still very high at 6 weeks post natal (when we are considered fit for exercise) so I would advise waiting 4-6 months for any serious running.
Are you breast feeding?
Relaxin levels can still be high for 6 months after you stop breast feeding making you more prone to injury and longer distance running, particularly at speed, could aggravate this.
There are big changes to your running gait due to the widening of the pelvis during pregnancy/labour. Some running shops can do a gait analysis for you.
For further advice and help on getting started with running, visit Wendy’s Running: whatever your level article.
Photography: Ed Yourdon @Flickr