VIDEO: Returning to Sports and Activity Postpartum

Clinical Expertise

May 14, 2021

Medical Reviewer: Carolyn Tremblay, PT, DPT, CLT
Last Updated: January 13, 2023

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Carolyn, a women’s health physical therapist for the Brooks Rehabilitation. One of the questions I get from my patients quite frequently is about returning to their usual sports and activities after delivering a baby. While it’s a very exhausting endeavor, you still find a lot of women can’t wait to get back to running, doing triathlons, swimming, or weightlifting, which is perfectly natural and normal to go back to something that you love after having a baby.

However, what’s a good healing timeline?

First of all, check with your healthcare provider to see what they think. They’re the ones who did your delivery, and they know how much tissue damage was sustained during delivery, whether you had a C-section or a vaginal delivery. They’ll be able to check and see what your tissue healing progress is. It’s very important to make sure that everything heals appropriately before you start putting additional stress on it.

One of the great things to start doing, with clearance from your OB, is to start walking. Walking is a great load bearing exercise. You can put the baby in a stroller and enjoy some time together if the weather’s nice. If not, you can look at like a Walk Away the Pounds type program, something very low impact.

When it’s time to return to your higher impact sport, your GYN or OB will let you know, and then they can have you do that with the guidance of a women’s health physical therapist. We always like to remind people you can’t go right back to what you were doing before you got pregnant, or when you stopped your sport.

You know, a marathoner can’t go right back to running marathons if they take two years off. So, give yourself time to build back up in a natural progression. If you’re not sure what that is, ask for referral to a women’s health physical therapist.

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Medical Reviewer

Carolyn Tremblay, PT, DPT, CLT

Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Center Manager - Osceola Outpatient Clinic
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