What do a house and your pelvis have in common? They both require a solid foundation to be successful. What do I mean? Let’s dive in.
Imagine you’re building a house. Would you start with the roof and walls, or lay the foundation first? The latter, right? Without a solid base, you have nothing to build on, nor the trust that the structure will hold up under stressful loads. And no one wants their foundation to be rushed, or done without a well thought out plan, and that definitely needs to be done BEFORE adding the extra load of the walls, roof, etc…Same rules apply to PP recovery and getting back to running successfully.
The foundation of our bodies = the pelvis. That’s where we accept and transfer load between the upper and lower halves. What enables that foundation to be successful is the muscular team that surrounds said pelvis:
- pelvic floor
- hip muscles
- spinal muscles
This muscular team goes through A LOT of changes through pregnancy. They don’t magically revert back to their pre-pregnancy ways as soon as the baby is earthside, unfortunately. They all need time to heal, re-coordinate with each other and one’s breath (see last week’s posts), and be re-strengthened with care over the course of multiple weeks – usually 8 to 12 weeks – BEFORE that system is ready to get back to running.
Because running requires 2.5-4x our body weight with every step. That’s A LOT! And then PP, we need to consider that, plus the fact that mamas are working overtime to heal, nurse, and care for their little(s), plus sleep deprivation, plus a hyper-flexible system due to the PP hormone cocktail and this still very much in full swing. And that’s assuming there were no complications with labor and delivery.
The vast majority of women are NOT READY to run at 6 weeks PP regardless of delivery method, and regardless of the “all clear” most receive at this point. This isn’t their fault, or because they’re doing it wrong, but because there is SO MUCH HEALING that is still happening through those first 6 weeks and upwards of 24 months postpartum. Yup, that long…
Mamas, how long did it take you to get back to running after your babe(s)? What did you find most helpful in getting back to it?