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Are you postnatal and want to start running? How do you know if you are ready?

Many women believe they can return to running after their 6-week check-up with their GP or obstetrician. However, running is a high-impact activity After having a baby, your body needs time to recover. If you return to running too soon, before your body is ready, it could lead to pelvic floor dysfunction and lumbopelvic pain. For this reason, it is recommended you wait until at least 3 months postnatal before considering returning to running to allow enough time for healing to occur.

Furthermore, the 6-week postnatal checkup is only about 30 minutes long. In that time, your doctor has a lot to cover and often doesn’t have the time or the specialised training to clear you to return to running.

That is why it is recommended that, in addition to seeing your GP or obstetrician, you also have an assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist before attempting to return to running, regardless of whether you have a vaginal or cesarean delivery.

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What should you expect at a Women’s Health Postnatal Return to Running Assessment?

The Postnatal Return to Running assessment is 45 minutes long. During that time, your women’s health Exercise Physiologist will take a subjective history and identify any risk factors for returning to running. They will then perform an objective examination to check your abdominal function, lower limb strength, and how your body copes with load and impact among other things. With your consent, they will also perform an internal examination to check your pelvic floor function and pelvic organ support.

Based on the assessment, your women’s health Exercise Physiologist will prescribe an individualised exercise program to prepare you for running. This may involve exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and lower limb muscles as well as re-training your pelvic floor to work reflexively like it does when running.

Once you have been cleared to run, your women’s health Exercise Physiotherapist will also be able to guide your return to running in a gradual way. This will reduce your risk of pelvic floor and musculoskeletal injury and ensure you get the best results from your running. Your women’s health Exercise Physiologist can also recommend other forms of exercise that are best suited to your specific circumstances.

To book your Postnatal Return to Running assessment with one of our women’s health Exercise Physiologists please call 3358 3915 or visit our website.

Our Pregnancy and pre/postnatal classes policy and procedure are available: here.

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