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Post-Partum Recovery Part 1

When I became pregnant with my daughter in the summer of 2015, I had hopes to keep running as long as possible.  We had registered for a 5k in October so my goal was to get through that.  My midwife had approved any activity I was already doing so I kept up my fitness until the 5k.  I walked 1-2 miles 5 times a week after the 5k up until my daughters birth (I stopped running due to fear but wish I had kept going a little longer).

After having LO, I knew I wanted to get back into running but also saw the reality that my body had been through a nightmare (I was induced Tuesday at 12 am and had LO Sunday afternoon…)  Among other issues, I had been dealing with diastasis recti (upper abs) for a few months, so I made the most of the 6 weeks of “inactive” time post-partum by letting that heal.  I bound my abdomen with an ace bandage for a few weeks to help splint the separation.  I don’t think this did too much to help except give me some support.  My whole body felt like it had been hit by a train, so any extra support went a long way, at least in my perspective!

One thing I did just hours after giving birth was pelvic floor exercises.  This helped with healing and even though I wasn’t feeling up to getting out of bed and walking a few miles, I was able to begin some repair and reconstruction right away.

Depending on your fitness level and motivation, you may want to get out there and start exercising right away — first and foremost listen to your doctor!  Secondly, listen to your body.  I was extremely sleep deprived before even giving birth, and I knew that my rest was more important to me than beginning my running program ASAP.  I spent the first weeks after giving birth focusing on establishing mys breastfeeding relationship with LO.  I truly believe that because I made this priority #1, that is why we are still BF 14 months later!  If I had made my running a priority during this time, I am confident that (for me) this would have hurt my supply.

About 3 weeks post partum, I started walking again with the stroller (Graco Sport ClickConnect travel system, so that I could take sleeping baby out of car and into stroller without having to unbuckle her!!) I started very slow, and for short distances, just moving my legs and getting used to pushing the stroller.

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I possibly could have gotten out there earlier than 3 weeks, but I chose to stay inside and enjoy all the baby snuggles I could get (and watch the whole Glee series for the first time, ha!) Once I began walking again, I did notice a huge improvement in my mood.

It was very important for me to build this base foundation of strength before I began running. Pregnancy had taken a toll on me, and I had work to do before I could start over. After I built up my strength, that’s what I did. I started over.

See Post-Partum Recovery Part Two here.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician, therapist or athletic coach. Any information on this website is purely opinion and from my experience, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please ask your doctor before beginning any fitness program and about any medical issues you may have.

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