Running after you have had your baby

I wouldn’t suggest that you started running during your pregnancy or that you take it up straight after you have had a baby if you have never run before. Running and jogging (slightly gentler!) are high impact activities and you do need to approach them with caution if you are new to this type of exercise as a new mum. However, if you want to start then I have given some advice below so that you can build up gradually. Always listen to your body and keep in mind that your body has been through a lot. Don’t rush your progress.

You can’t escape the pelvic floors! Jogging will put pressure on your undercarriage which will be weakened after childbirth. Even if you had a c-section, your bump would have put pressure on these muscles. If you haven’t been doing your pelvic floor exercises then you will need to start them now if you want to take up running. The 3-Plan can give you lots of ideas for working your pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor will give you confidence over your wee control while you are running (and the rest of the time!)

If you are new to running or haven’t done any for a while then start with walking:

  • Gradually build up your walks from 10-15 minutes to an hour, walking at a brisk pace. Do this over a period of 4-6 weeks or until you feel ready to move on.
  • After this build in some walk/jog sessions, alternating between each for five minutes at a time.
  • When you feel comfortable jogging for five minutes build this up to ten minutes and do this at least five times.
  • Keep adding five minute blocks on to your runs (doing each duration five times) until you get to where you want to be.

If you are an experienced runner then you are probably very keen to get back to it!

  • For the first four weeks after you have your baby I would suggest just following the first step above.
  • When you feel ready try a gentle 15-20 minute jog to see how you feel. Stop if you have any discomfort.
  • If this feels ok keep adding five minute blocks on to your runs (doing each duration five times) until you get to where you want to be. If 15-20 minutes is too much for you, don’t panic! Follow the steps above to build up more gradually; you’ll get there.

When you are running after having a baby, be sensible. Your body and pelvis in particular has been through quite an ordeal so you need to let your body adapt to each step of your running programme before you move on.