Running After Having Your Baby - Part One

Intro to this postnatal running series

I’m so excited to share this running series with you! I’ve worked with mums who loved running before having a baby and wanted to get back to it as soon as possible, but depending on your birth/labour experience and how your body is healing from this need to be considered.

Running is such a high impact exercise and your body needs time to heal after having a baby. I was so happy when I came across some specialised research about this. 

I’ve done advanced postnatal training to ensure I can pass on the best information possible to new mums to help them recover from birth and feel stronger than ever. In general with my workout and rebuilding plans for new mums, the advice is low-impact, strength building and pelvic floor recovery for all but I’d not been able to find guidance specifically to running. So I was really excited when I came across a new running research paper dedicated to this! More information on the research at the end of the blog.

I’m excited to share with you the guidance from the research physiotherapists and myself on building up to running after having a baby.

Why heading straight back to running could cause harm to your healing body...

High impact exercise causes a rise in intra-abdominal pressure and professionals assume some if not all the force is transmitted to your pelvic floor.

After having a baby, the pelvic floor is weakened, stretched, and injured in most women so you need to make sure that you can actually activate these muscles before putting them through even more stress.

The pelvic floor muscles need to be functional to support your organs and control your bladder.

You need time to heal and build strength in your pelvic floor and stomach muscles after pregnancy and delivery.

For c-section births, think about letting your scar heal, it can take 6-7 months for your abdominal fascia (stomach tissue) to get back to 73-90% of its original strength.

Watch the video below to see how the pelvic floor is affected by all pregnancies and all births.

After-Birth Care

Your Body's Warning Signs

These are all signs that you need to build up your core and pelvic floor after having your little one. If you are experiencing any of these then it’s highly advised to visit a women’s health physiotherapist/pelvic health specialist.

  • – Leaking Urine
    – Cannot Control Bowel Movements
    – Heaviness or Dragging in the Pelvic Area (this can be linked to prolapse)
    – Pain with sex
    – Diastasis (stomach muscle seperation/weak midline)
    – Lower Back Pain
    – Ongoing Blood Loss After 8-weeks Postnatal

When it's not advisable to run

It’s not advisable to run if before, during or after running you experience any of the following:

  • – Urine Leaks
    – You feel pressure/bulging or dragging in the vagina
    – Bleeding after any exercise (low or high impact)
    – Any pelvic pain
    – Any moderate pain after running

These are all signs telling you that your body and your pelvic floor is not ready.

So what is recommended before running?

  • Low-impact postnatal specific exercise for 3 months.
  • Work on your pelvic floor and core with postnatal exercises.
  • Return to running between 3-6 months postnatal at the earliest. 
  • Get a pelvic health assessment (you can ask your GP to refer you). The pelvic health specialist will be able to help you know what it feels like to activate your pelvic floor, so you’ll know if you’re doing it right as well as assess the strength and function for you.


Next week I will bring you Part Two! This will include 12-week guidance that you can start after having your baby.

Grab your free guide using the link below to get started on safe exercise early.

Exercise After Having Your Baby

I’ve put together a FREE Guide on exercise after having your baby, this includes pelvic floor, core connection and all the strength building you need to prepare for running. You can grab it here >>>

The Research

This is advice is from womens health specialists and physiotherapists who are passionate in helping women get back into exercise safely. I have read the research and put the advice into an easy to read blog series along with my own knowledge of postnatal recovery training to share it with you. You can get the full research paper here.