Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, midwife or nurse. The information expressed in the series “Running and Breastfeeding – By JBRobinBog.com” should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before running during postpartum.
I started running a week after I gave birth to my son Paul. I was itching to start running again and my delivery was natural with no pain relieve – that wasn’t necessarily by choice.The little man made his entrance into the world so fast that there wasn’t time for anything – We made it to the hospital just in time and he was born before the doctor even arrived. Big Healthy boy born on a very rainy morning, weighing 3.9kg, and 54cm long.
I ran throughout my whole pregnancy up until 37 Weeks when Lightning crotch and pressure got too intense, I was forced to stop. I believe that keeping fit and healthy is what helped me to deliver my son so fast, but it still hurt, no jokes its the most intense experience I’ve ever had.
It was amazing how my body did all the work, even against my better judgement and wanting to just keep everything in, haha… I was very proud when he was born, I was proud of myself for achieving something so big, and I was proud of myself for sticking to my running and exercise whilst I was pregnant, because it paid off.
After about three days my body started to feel better again – I’m saying better because my body still doesn’t feel like it is back to normal again, but I have a feeling I’m gonna have to get used to a new normal as I don’t think anything goes back to exactly the way it was.
My first run was hard – I planned on doing a normal 5km route close to my house that I ran pretty often before and during my pregnancy. I remember I was still wearing a maternity support belt nice and tight to keep all my jiggly parts from , well jiggling. I have to be honest it hurt. It took me 43min to run 4.4km it was bad.
At first my balance felt very off, and I couldn’t find a rythym. It was like my body was confused as to what it was doing. The main reason for this I thing it because my core was practically non-exsistant. During your pregnancy, no matter what size your bump gets you abdominal muscles undergo quite a stretch, and they have to be somewhat activated again before things can just go back to normal.
During the run I got a constant stitch and I think at about half way I realized that if I went any further that I would be in trouble and I would have to end up walking back whatever I couldn’t run. My pace was also not very fast, in fact I would consider it to be the same pace that I walk when I walk nice and fast, haha but it felt like I was running, just really slow.
Because my core was not responding as it normally would it was hard to keep a good running form and I would end up stumbling often because I was somewhat off balance. For nine months my center of gravity had shifted and after running for 25 weeks with a belly it felt kinda weird being so light.
“Wanting to succeed in breastfeeding was one of my main goals,and so was getting myself back to the fitness level I was before, and to be honest, I wasn’t about to compromise on either of those two.”
During this run I came to terms with the amount of work that I would have to do to get my body back to its previous running form, it felt very daunting and intimidating knowing now that I have a hard road ahead of me to get back to where I was with running pre-pregnancy.
Allot of people were surprised that I started running so quickly again, everyone kept telling me to relax, take my time, give myself a break. What they didn’t know was that ‘giving myself a break’ was actually not what I needed, and that I wanted to so badly feel like myself again and running was the only way to get back to it. I was also told by many others that running and exercising will impact my milk. Wanting to succeed in breastfeeding was one of my main goals,and so was getting myself back to the fitness level I was before, and to be honest, I wasn’t about to compromise on either of those two.
I did some research about Milk production and how everything works, and I read a very good explanation as to why exercising should not affect your milk.
It was an analogy explaining how Cats and Mice feed their young and that in order to survive both spices needed to be active – the Mouse had to run from predators in in order to survive and the cat had to run and hunt prey in order to survive. Both animals running/exercising whilst feeding their young.
I have also from personal experience noticed that my milk did not in fact get less, and my Son keeps putting on weight, and his a big boy, so he really has his fill in a feeding. I’ve also learnt a few tricks along the way from research and from other Mothers that I’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks, starting with a post every week, so keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for when its posted.
If your currently Pregnant and want to continue running have a look at my ‘Running Pregnant’ Series, click on the links below:
Follow me here and on JBRobinblog.com on what the My postpartum Journey is like!