When can I get back to exercise after pregnancy?

Rebecca Reiss Women’s Health Physiotherapist

As a women’s health physiotherapist, the question I get asked most often from pregnant and post-partum women is:

When can I go back to running/ boot camp/ HITT training and/or weight lifting?

This is such a complex question in which many things need to be taken into consideration and there is no “blanket” answer that applies to everyone. For example, some of the information I need to know before answering this question includes:

  • How was the baby delivered?
  • Has the new mum been experiencing any incontinence, and/or heaviness/ bulging/ dragging vaginally since the birth of her baby?
  • How much sleep is the new mum getting?
  • What is her current body weight and mental state?
  • How strong is this mum’s leg and trunk muscles? Did she exercise during pregnancy?
  • Has she had her pelvic floor contraction and abdomen checked since her birth?

After answering all of these questions I can start to formulate an estimate of when I might be able to return a woman to running and / or other high intensity activity post-partum.

Many things change after the delivery of a child. Most women will either have a perineal or abdominal scar which takes 3-6 months to fully heal and ALL pregnant women have had their abdomen stretched and distended and their pelvic floor weakened during the pregnancy. The abdomen, pelvic floor and scarred regions need to be given time to heal post-partum and this can take longer than women think.

As a start follow this checklist before returning to running. If you tick each box you can safely return to running and high impact exercise!

This full checklist needs to be completed for safe returning to running and high impact exercise after your pregnancy:

  • Are you a MINIMUM 3months post-partum?
  • Have you had NO urinary/ faecal incontinence since delivery?
  • Do you have NO pressure/ bulging/ dragging about vagina since the birth of your baby?
  • Is your BMI less than 30?
  • Has your abdomen, pelvic floor, pelvic organs and any scars been checked by a Women’s health therapist and made sure the pelvic floor has good strength and endurance? (ie have you been assessed and passed Women’s Health Physiotherapy examination)
  • Can you complete the following without pain/ heaviness/ dragging or incontinence: Walking 30min, single leg squat 10x reps each side, jog on spot 1min, and hopping in place 10 reps each leg?
  • Can you complete 20 reps of each of the following strength tests without fatigue: Single leg calf raises, Single leg bridges, single leg sit-to-stands and leg lifts when lying on your side?

If this checklist is completed AND you have had a women’s health examination to check your pelvic floor health you are safe to return to exercises building slowly into higher intensity work!

If any of the above answers are not completed you are at a higher risk of prolapse, which is a condition that is much easier prevented than treated! Like to know more about prolapse? Click here

Are you concerned about your pelvic floor or are you a new mum wanting to get back to exercise? Simply contact our friendly reception team here at Synergy physio on 07 5448 3369. We offer personalised and professional care with our women’s health physiotherapy team.

Rebecca Reiss Women’s Health Physiotherapist 

About Rebecca- Rebecca Reiss is passionate about caring for women’s health concerns during and after pregnancy and also into menopause. She has expertise in the management for pelvic floor problems and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Synergy Physio team.

Synergy Physio forms an expert team of women’s health physiotherapists. Their caring and professional nature will support you toward improving your health, your pelvic floor function and help you get back to doing the things you love.

Don’t suffer in silence- contact us today or simply call 07 5448 3369

Learn more about our team here! Like to know more women’s health? Click here!

Or book online with Rebecca here.

By |2023-08-27T16:49:28+10:00May 29th, 2019|pregnancy, women's health|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nichole is a physiotherapist, yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher. She passionate about women's health, physiotherapy and education- all to benefit you and your health! She lectures regularly at physiotherapy and orthopaedic conferences on the management of hip and pelvic pain. Her expert knowledge has also been shared on popular podcasts and online learning platforms including The Yoga Physio, Clinical Edge online learning, Physioedge podcast, My Hip Pain Relief and World Health Webinars. She looks forward to sharing her expertise and inspiring you toward better health- mind body and heart.

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