As a female runner and a new mom, this question has probably been coming up for you. You probably love running with all your heart, and now there is your little baby that deserves a big spot in your hearth as well. Some may think that a newborn would put a stop to all of your exercises, and while there is some truth to this, you may be surprised at how quickly your journey back to running can begin.
New moms are thrilled that their little one has finally entered this world, but they are also thinking about losing the baby weight and getting back to running. And both are possible if you do just a bit of organizing. However, before you go back to running, you need to know a few things.
Respect that Rest Period
Every doctor and pregnancy book will tell you that new moms need the rest period of at least six weeks after giving birth. This means no running, no cardio and no heavy lifting. There is a good reason for this rest period because giving birth is not easy and it has a major impact on a woman’s body. The six weeks of rest will allow your abdominal muscles to rest, get stronger and get back to their place. Also, this time will allow for all your organs to lower themselves since they were pushed aside and up while the baby grew in your belly. So, it is important to take care of your body postpartum and let it heal. This is your time to bond with your baby, enjoy being a new mom and slowly start making a new running plan.
Get the Gear to Motivate Yourself
You probably need a bit of motivation to get you back to running and you can start with new gear. Chances are that you may need leggings and shirts with a bit more stretch to them, so treat yourself. Also, if the old running shoes don’t fit your tired feet anymore, don’t be shy to look for a comfier pair. You can go a bit further and get some accessories that you always wanted, such as a comfortable neck gaiter, more supporting sports bra and comfy socks. Plus, this is a great chance to find a sturdy jogging stroller in order to bring your cute newborn with you. Have all that prepared and then start things slow.
Work on Your Core, Hips and Pelvic Floor
If you don’t strengthen these three, there will be no running or it won’t feel as satisfying and pleasant as it used to. Your core and hip muscles are the ones that keep your pelvis stable and thus prevent any injuries. And a weak pelvic floor might cause health issues, from severe pain to leakage. That is why you should spend at least 6 weeks working on the strength of those muscles.
For a start, you should try with light walks each day. Then, you can start doing a few gentle sets of glute bridge exercises and belly draw-ins. Each week, you can increase the number of reps and go on long walks. After 5th week, you can slowly start increasing the pace of your walks and switch to light jogging, but only if you feel comfortable. If there is any pain or discomfort, make sure to slow down and work on the hips and pelvic muscles more.
Bring Your Baby With You
Since you are a new mom, you probably don’t want to be parted with your baby and that’s perfectly normal. And there is a way to include your baby in your exercises. Swaddle the baby, secure it gently into a stroller and include them from the very beginning and push them around the neighborhood while you’re on a walk. After 8 weeks of healing and strengthening your body, you might want to consider taking your baby for a spin in a jogging stroller. While it’s still too soon to run (or even jog) with them, you can certainly start to speed up your walking pace. Jogging strollers are an essential for running moms. They are sturdy, they are designed for jogging and they make sure that you get your exercise while your baby gets some fresh air. At around 6-8 months you should be able to start jogging or running. This will depend on your child’s physical development. As a rule, never run with a jogging stroller when the car seat is attached.
Every new mom is thrilled that her baby is finally there with the family. However, truth be told, a newborn will shift your schedules and routines a lot. But, this is nothing that you can’t manage so be patient, organize yourself and everything will be great. The same goes for your running, just take it slow, let your body heal and you will get back to running in no time.