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Difficult birth-how long before riding again?

14 replies

Flickasfriend · 24/03/2012 20:37

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping for some advice. I had an episiotomy and 3rd degree tear during labour. The physio in the hospital said not to attempt to ride for between 3 and 6 months. There is obviously a large difference between those two timescales so I'm wondering if anyone else had a similar experience and how long it was before they were back in the saddle?

I'm desperate to get back on my pony again after a very long 9 months and another 6 seems like a very long time to wait!

Any info would be much appreciated.


OP posts:
Booboostoo · 25/03/2012 22:25

Sorry I don't have any advice other than waiting to see how you feel. I imagine different people heal differently so, unfortunately, you need to wait and see what happens.

I know how you feel though! I popped back on 7 weeks after a c-section! I took it slow but it was fine!

SparkyMcSparrow · 25/03/2012 22:30

Wait until you feel ready. You will know.

AlpinePony · 26/03/2012 17:09

I'm a section girl here, 6 weeks last time, 6 weeks today and I'm hoping to be back in the saddle tomorrow.

For a vaginal birth, I know one mn-er had a bad 2nd/small 3rd degree tear and was back at 3 weeks I think.

Have you got a nice sheepskin seatsaver? What about taking your stirrups up a couple of holes so you're not sitting as deeply? Use GP saddle rather than dressage.

Go for it when you're ready, honestly the guff they give out about timelines, tbh I'd rather be on my mental nag at 4 weeks than in a public swimming pool doing rental exercise from purely a germs pov iyswim!

Backinthebox · 26/03/2012 21:27

Is that me you're on about there Alps? I had a 2nd and a 3a tear, so skin split up to my bum but no sphincter damage. (In my defence I fired my baby out in one go, and he was a big 'un with his elbow wedged out to one side!) I spent the first week in bed on my MW's strict instructions - she told me only to go down the stairs once a day, so if I needed to leave my bedroom I'd better make it count. I was up and about a lot more in week 2, although it did feel like the world was falling out of my bottom whenever I moved and I couldn't imagine riding again for a while. I had a lovely independent MW who I imagine must have been quite fed up of looking at my chuff and me asking 'how's it looking now? What about now..... Etc, etc' and after about 4 weeks she said 'go riding, take it easy, you'll be fine.' I rode a friend's grandfather's plod for about half an hour. Next time out I rode a thoroughbred I owned but who I'd never ridden before. 8 weeks after the birth I bought what I now know to be a 3 year old bog pony and was out hunting on him at 12 weeks.

Reading it back it looks as though I needed my head examining, but it all seemed fine at the time. (I was back on my old 17.3hh show hunter 5 weeks after my first baby, and had a truly horrible emergency c-section that time. Apparently both the stuck baby and the ping-pong ball baby both had the more, ahem, interesting aspects of their births enhanced by super-strong riding pelvic floor muscles!)

My best recommendation is to see how you feel as time goes by. If you have a HCP you trust and who understands you, take their advice and ask them very direct questions. It's not worth exacerbating injury if a couple more weeks would make things better, but likewise it's not worth hanging around impatiently if you are fit to ride.

snowpo · 26/03/2012 21:53

Hello. I had the same issues as you. I didn't find it particularly painful I just had a lot of bathroom accidents which really got me down as no-one had explained anything about recovery. Sounds like you were lucky to speak to a physio.

I can't remember how long it was before I rode but I do know my daughter was conceived when my son was 8wks old so I'm guessing I got on a horse before that happened!!

My horse is pretty sensible so I imagine I went for a quiet walk to start with. I think you just have to trust yourself & how you feel. As long as your horse isn't going to be messing around & be pulling you about everywhere. 6 months does seem like quite a long time - I'm sure you'll be back on before that.

AlpinePony · 27/03/2012 05:04

boxer it was indeed you I was thinking of. :)

Backinthebox · 27/03/2012 08:16

Have a lovely ride today then Alps. The weather here is lovely!

Flickasfriend · 27/03/2012 13:17

Thanks everyone, you have put my mind at rest a bit. I have a 6 week check up with a consultant so I'm going to wait until after that but probably not much longer!

Feeling happier today as I was back mucking out etc while my son slept in the tack room. He is 3 weeks old today and had better get used to spending a lot of time at the stables Grin

box it does sound mental but you obviously survived!

alpine enjoy your ride today.

Hope you are all managing to enjoy the lovely weather.

OP posts:
AlpinePony · 28/03/2012 09:33

A word of warning - wear a proper bra - I've just done three laps of the arena with the girls free. Oh the shame!

dappleton · 29/03/2012 10:55

Was going to comment but all I can think of now is how good Alpines last piece of advice is Grin

Flickasfriend · 10/04/2012 10:55

Just a quick update, I had a check up with my consultant today and he told me just to get back on whenever I feel ready. He did look a bit shocked when I suggested this afternoon though! I don't suppose its what most women say 5 weeks after giving birth Grin

I'm going to wait another week and then go for a nice (hopefully!) calm walk and take it from there. Will remember a proper bra when I'm feeling a bit more adventurous!! Good advice Alpine

OP posts:
AlpinePony · 11/04/2012 17:09

Great news!

Has your pony been exercised over the winter? Mine's had a lazy winter and it was only yesterday I was able to downgrade from pelham to snaffle as she's been "bouncy".

Have you been back on yet? :)

Flickasfriend · 22/04/2012 20:30

Got back on today and all went well, Phew Grin

6weeks instead of the recommended 6months!

Will stick to walk for a while though to be on the safe side. Pony was very well behaved even though she has also had a lazy winter. Still fine in her snaffle which is good.

OP posts:
dappleton · 23/04/2012 19:10

Congratulations, best feeling in the world after all the months of waiting!

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