Approach Postpartum exercise with care and consideration, especially if you are a breastfeeding mum.
Your body has been through such a lot through carrying and delivering a baby. Trying to run before you can walk, so to speak, could put too much strain on your body, and further delay your recovery.
In my recent experience, it’s best to prepare. Listen to your body, pace yourself, and try and ease your way back in gently.
I have chosen to breastfeed my baby, and fortunately for us, it is going really well. It’s such a lovely thing to be able to do, but like anything that is worth the effort, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks…having to share your body for that little bit longer, is definitely one of them.
For this reason, some preparation is needed before tying up your shoes and running out the door.
After a successful 3.7K first postpartum run, I have compiled a checklist to help my fellow active mums get back to looking after their fitness, and most importantly, taking time for themselves, doing something they enjoy!
If you are new to breastfeeding or a dab hand at it, you will have quickly discovered that organisation is necessary to ensure neither you nor your baby, ends up crying over spilled milk.
Before you begin your work out session, it’s best to ensure the following for your own comfort;
- Your breasts are empty
- You have a high-quality sports bra to reduce any painful movement
- You are wearing breast pads in case you do leak
- Have a drink with you, or straight after to rehydrate
One other thing I’m keen to share with my fellow active mums is the effects of the hormone RELAXIN which is present when breastfeeding. Although some mums may not experience this, it’s important to know the possible problems just in case they do occur as they have for me!
Relaxin is a hormone which is much needed during pregnancy to help your muscles relax and stretch as your body changes and in preparation for birth. If you are breastfeeding the hormone is still present, and can cause joint problems. I have found my knees, my lower back and hips to be weaker than before my pregnancy due to this hormone. Therefore, I need to be careful not to overdo it, in order to prevent any short term or long term damage to my joints.
Following a trip to the local pharmacist, I was advised to begin taking this supplement, to help
replace the nutrients my body needs, which my baby is taking from me.
Always wait until you have had your postpartum 6-week check before engaging in any strenuous activity. Your body simply isn’t ready at this point, and it is best to discuss your personal circumstances with your doctor, health visitor, or pharmacist first.
For more information on postpartum joint care, check out this useful article which shares one woman’s
long term experience…HERE.
I have also experienced something called ‘flat foot’ or fallen arches in my feet. This too can happen due to the hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy. For more information on this, click HERE.