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Post-pregnancy fitness goals - what is realistic?

(9 Posts)
Plateofcrumbs Sat 12-Apr-14 15:46:33

I'm not super-fit but I normally do some kind of events (running, triathlon etc) a few times a year to motivate me to stay in shape.

If (if!) I have a straightforward birth, what is a relatively realistic target for a first event post-pregnancy? I was running 4-5 miles, 2-3 times a week before I got pregnant but that's gradually gone down the pan, just managing yoga and occasional swims now.

I'm thinking a 5 or 10k run would be good motivation, but how long after birth is a reasonable ambition?

CorporeSarnie Sat 12-Apr-14 16:49:52

You shouldn't start any training until after your 6 week checkup, and you may have neither the time nor inclination to do any for some time after that, depending on how late pg and the early postnatal days go for you. But you may find you feel up to it quite soon. I walked into town a few days after CS, and was happily pushing the pram several miles a day from a couple of weeks postnatal onwards. I attended a postnatal-specific exercise class, but I was always more of a Pilates & gym person who occasionally ran. I did a Buggy Run for Tommy's when DD was 7 or 8 months old, was not fast but got round fine. I also cycled last time until 35 weeks, but haven't felt up to dragging the trailer about so far this pg (10 weeks). I think it depends on how you feel, what your basic level of fitness is and whether you're able to continue some exercise in pg.

RoseberryTopping Sat 12-Apr-14 18:10:33

I'd wait till at least 6 weeks and then see how you feel. There's no point planning it now cos you have no idea how you will feel at the time.

Possiblyorange Sat 12-Apr-14 18:40:37

Very dependant on the birth you had - I couldn't exercise for about 6 months after my first delivery (natural delivery, lots of tearing, surgery, horrible!), but after my second (c-section) I rested completely and utterly for about 4 weeks then started good walks and immediately after 6 week check started doing Shred and C25k with no probs. was up to 5k easily within the recommended program (can't remember how many weeks it is, sorry. 6 maybe?) and probably could have trained up to a 10k within a not much longer timeframe.

I am almost 3 weeks post natal (CS again) and will prob start c25k week one in a fortnight, am already comfortably gently walking a mile or two a day with no ill effects at all (again, I think completely resting for a couple of weeks means being able to get back into exercise easily, rather than rushing into it and suffering prolapse/healing issues, as a few of my sporty friends have had that and a good dose of luck.

weebairn Sat 12-Apr-14 19:03:10

I was running 5k again about 3 months after birth, started c25k (which is great cause it starts right from the beginning) at 5 weeks - but I think that was a bit abnormal to be honest.

I had
a) a completely straightforward delivery
b) a baby who slept (in the early months at least!)

Running is hard on the pelvic floor. I got away with it ok (I did a lot of pelvic floor exercises , also) but I don't think I would do it again. I am pregnant with no 2 right now and trying to really get good at my yoga as I think this is a much more helpful postnatal workout. Walking is good too, and you can do that with baby in sling/pushchair. Shred was too harsh for me postnatally, I wanted someone more encouraging grin

I was pretty fit pre-preg and exercised throughout pregnancy.

Gennz Sun 13-Apr-14 02:58:23

ooh good question OP!

Even with a straightforward delivery how long do you need to wait to go swimming or for big walks? I'm due 1 Dec which is early summer here, so I'd love to be back in the pool swimming lengths as soon as possible - what's realistic?

Also I'd like to think I could manage a few big walks but the idea of doing that with a maxi pad really skeeves me out ...

IceNoSlice Sun 13-Apr-14 04:18:14

Genuine question: those doing C25K or frequent running, do you have childcare? Or just run in evenings when OH is home? I'd like to start running again (DC2 is now 7wo) but I am really struggling to find time except weekends...

weebairn Sun 13-Apr-14 05:55:51

I used to run in the morning, about 6.30 or 7 am, just after a feed, baby would fall back asleep, boyfriend was still in bed with her. He works opposite our flat so doesn't have to leave for work till nearly 9 which is amazing. now I never do anything of the sort as toddler gets up at 5am, sigh

I wouldn't have been doing anything of the sort if she hadn't been a good sleeper in the early days.

Gennz I found the lochia had calmed down a lot by week 3 and was just wearing normal sanitary pads by then, I wouldn't have done any big walks before then (little potters round the block or park). It's not just the maxi pads, your bleeding can increase if you overdo it, it just feels horrible. Swimming I think I went to the pool again at about 5 weeks. If you're breastfeeding you have to be realistic that it's snatched pieces of time. My boyfriend was around a lot in the early days (and my mum) so I got more time to escape than many - but I never went for long and I tended to go immediately after a feed (also full boobs are v uncomfortable to exercise with in the early days).

I start doing pelvic floor and very very gentle core exercises as soon as the baby is born (when I say gentle I mean so gentle you are just getting the muscles working again, nothing more, from the outside you don't look like you are moving).

Pre six week check up I do walking. It takes me ages to get fit again as my tummy muscles separate during pregnancy.

Once I am running again I have a running buggy, it is amazing, it's as light as a feather and runs on bike wheels (you have to strap your wrist to it as even on the flat it will keep going on its own). The best thing is the stride room, you can run without ever worrying that your feet are going to catch the back of the buggy. It really is only suitable from 6 months though but it is big enough to fit a 4 year old.

Nipper do a running buggy that is suitable from birth, I've had a non fixed wheel buggy of theirs before, not for running, and it was very good (you really need a fixed wheel for running).

Baby jogger also do a new version of my one, the older version sometimes comes up on ebay.

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