Postpartum running is a warm topic on society media. That is a inquiry that a majority of mrs runners asks at some suggest in she life. How long should you wait till running after giving birth? must you wait twelve entirety weeks prior to you have the right to run again? Or are you clear at six weeks? Ultimately, postpartum running is very individualized, not just woman come woman, yet pregnancy come pregnancy. 

This is part one the a two-part series. Component one explores how long you must wait come resume running postpartum. Component two delves into how to safely return to running after giving birth. 


How long Should ns Wait to run After giving Birth?

Generally speaking, six to eight mainly is a common recommendation because that returning to exercise (but no necessarily running). By six weeks postpartum, your uterus has returned come normal dimension (if breastfeeding) and lochia (bleeding) has likely stopped. However, not every woman is all set to run at 6 weeks – nor does clearance for exercise equate to clearance for to run for every woman.

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The timeline for return to running different widely. Some women will be prepared to begin run-walk intervals at six to eight weeks, when others may need to spend much more time top top rehabilitation and also wait until roughly twelve mainly or longer. (Do not run before six mainly postpartum, unless discussed with your OB.)

Talk to your OB prior to resuming exercise. Don’t do an impulsive decision based on a desire for normalcy. A multitude of factors – her labor and delivery experience, postpartum complications, fitness front to and also during pregnancy, and so on – identify the duration of your postpartum recovery. You do not want to resume to run if you space still enduring postpartum bleeding or if any kind of incisions have not totally healed. 

If in doubt, wait. If you perform not feel prepared upon clearance from her doctor, hear to your body. it is much more than it s okay to wait 8 main or 12 weeks before you begin to run! If you room experiencing worries at six weeks postpartum, ask your medical professional for a referral come a pelvic PT.

Some physics therapists suggest waiting till 12 main postpartum come resume running. A white record published in the British journal of sporting activities Medicine argues a 12-week timeline, v a emphasis on cross-training and weight lifting because that weeks 6-12. (I must emphasize below that this referral is the shortest level the evidence.) The record notes that this 12-week waiting period is a level-4 recommendation; the is one opinion, not a conclusion from any randomized controlled trial, systematic review, or meta-analysis. Twelve weeks is not the critical timeline because that every runner. 

(This does not discredit the paper; over there is terrific information in the BJSM document that encourages us come think an ext critically about postpartum running. However, this is just encouraging mindfulness of exactly how to recognize the info you encounter. Simply since something is released in a journal does not median it is a definitive conclusion. Guidelines space not a strict dominion nor space they a study; they space a consensus from a team of experts. A examine involves controlling trials and also reducing the hazard of confounding variables, bias, etc.)

While no every woman need to wait twelve weeks, the recommended guidelines encourage every postpartum jogger to assess their physical readiness. Simply being 6 or twelve mainly postpartum does no equate to clearance if evidence of prolapse or musculoskeletal pain is present.

The twelve-week timeline is best for women enduring from prolapse, incontinence, diastasis recti, or other pelvic floor issues. If friend are likewise injury-prone or did no run in your pregnancy, this timeline might be much more prudent because that you. That is likewise worth noting that if you have pelvic floor issues, you may be off of to run for longer than 12 mainly – 12 is not some magical point. For ladies who had a smooth delivery and quick recovery there is no issues, they might be all set to operation sooner than twelve main (but no earlier than 6 to eight weeks).

Your OB is a doctor; do not let anyone on society media to convince you otherwise. It might seem prefer a “short visit” however they do examine indications of healing. Ultimately, monitor the proposal of her OB linked with exactly how your own body feels. Every postpartum jogger operates on a various timeline once they space out the the subacute phase (six main postpartum). 

Contraindications because that Resuming for Running

Running before six weeks postpartum is not recommended. In the first six mainly postpartum, her uterus is still heal from the removal of the placenta and still shrinking. Resumption of to run too beforehand risk pelvic prolapse.

There are physical contraindications to returning to to run after providing birth. Her OB may deal with these in ~ the 6 week appointment; if not, advocate for yourself through your doctor. If girlfriend experience any kind of of the following, hold off ~ above running and also seek assist from a pelvic PT.

Sensation the heaviness or dragging in pelvic areaNoticeable void in abdominal muscle wallPelvic painLow back painC-section scar that is not totally healedBleeding past six weeks (that is not resumption that menses)Urinary incontinence (including leakage as soon as sneezing, laughing, or hopping)You mentally carry out not feeling ready

If any type of of these take place after the commencement of running, cease running until you can speak to your OB or a pelvic floor PT. Because that example, if friend pee yourself on that very first run, don’t just slap a pantyliner on next time. Move to cross-training or walking and also devote time to pelvic floor rehab. 

What rather Affects Postpartum Recovery?

In enhancement to the above considerations, other factors influence individual recovery. Once you space cleared by your doctor and possess no counterindications, girlfriend still must take into consideration your ahead fitness level and activity during pregnancy.

 While labor and also delivery room not an injury, one must always consider the moment off throughout pregnancy and also postpartum favor the time off for one injury. The longer you room off, the much more cautious a return must be. (This is no a reason to rush earlier to to run though!)

If friend ran through the finish of her pregnancy, you will certainly likely be able to resume running sooner and rebuild at a much faster rate. If you quit running partway with pregnancy, you might need to strategy your return to running as you would for any an extensive layoff. An athlete that did no run after ~ the an initial trimester, for example, must spend an ext time cross-training and strength training before returning come running. 

Likewise, her level the muscular strength throughout pregnancy contributes to your capability to resume running after childbirth. A 2017 study in Sports wellness (Byholder et al) break up that ladies who toughness trained before childbirth (including throughout pregnancy) experienced much less musculoskeletal pain, reduced rates of stress urinary incontinence, and diastasis recti. If girlfriend did not stamin train during pregnancy, you may need to hold off running for much longer as girlfriend build back strength. 

Finally, over there is psychological readiness. No research or coach have the right to tell you when you will feel ready. Some women feel all set to operation as shortly as they room cleared. Rather wait months till they physically and mentally are all set to run. Adopt your very own timeline and also do no rush yourself. 

Running and Postpartum Depression/Anxiety

I feeling it would certainly be a disservice to women all over to neglect the subject of postpartum depression and also anxiety. Every year, countless women battle with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders after delivery 

This is among the reasons that I together a coach do not prescribe come the 12 weeks off of running referral for every single runner. Presume the athlete has been clearing by her OB and also does no demonstrate any contraindications, closely resuming running starting at 6-11 weeks postpartum can have a positive impact on PPD/PPA. 

Research indicates that exercise has actually a powerful effect top top depression and anxiety. A 2015 observational, cross-sectional study in Sports health and wellness (Tenforde et al) discovered a statically significant difference in prices of postpartum depression between breastfeeding runners that resumed training and also those who did not. 

Now it’s precious noting the heterogeneity and bias may impact those studies. However, study on depression and anxiety (not simply postpartum in the context of postpartum) reinforces the likelihood the exercise have the right to decrease depression and also anxiety in basic – and also therefore in postpartum women.

That walk not average you should rush ago into exercise. No one does it typical that exercise is a panacea because that PPD/PPA. However if you space at risk for PPD/PPA or have a high Edinburgh score and have to be cleared for return to exercise, carefully resuming running might be helpful.


The precise timeline will vary on when you can return to running postpartum; you might be all set at 6-8 weeks, or you may need to wait 12 mainly or more, escape on issues that arise. Be sure to gain clearance from your doctor. Execute not run if you have actually incontinence, pain, or various other problems. See a PT if you suffer contraindications. As soon as you are all set to start running, though, do not jump back into vault mileage. The second component of this collection will cover exactly how to safely resume running after giving birth.

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