If you want to run or do other high impact exercise as soon as possible after the birth of your baby, there are a few things you need to be wary of. High impact exercise postnatally has been found to increase the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction nearly five-fold, compared to low impact exercise. This means further healing and recovery time should be considered prior to resuming high impact activity.

It’s a good idea to talk to your pelvic health physio before the birth, and make a plan, but whether or not you saw somebody in pregnancy, we suggest a visit to see us at around six weeks postnatal.

We can check:

  • pelvic floor muscles
  • abdominals
  • lower limb strength
  • general mobility and flexibility

We can then give you a specific rehab programme, tailored to you, and help you plan the next steps.


Weeks 6-12:

This can look very different for different people, depending on your birth, so there is no one way that is right for everyone.

A plan could include:

  • Increasing walking time from 30-60 minutes.
  • Specific core exercises to strengthen any abdominal separation.
  • Returning to group exercise classes designed for Mums and Bubs.
  • Starting a post natal home exercise program like She Moves or MOVE IT MAMA.
  • Progression of impact activity from horizontal to upright- e.g from mountain climbers on a bench, to bounce on the spot.
  • A couch to 5km plan – this could be appropriate if the pelvic floor muscles are strong and there are NO symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction or pain.


There are many factors to consider when looking at returning to running after childbirth. This infographic from  Donnelly et al. (2022) shows some of these. Every person’s journey is different – we can support you to make confident choices about when to return to high impact exercise.



Click here for more information about exercise in the first 6 weeks after baby is born.


Selman R, Early K, Battles B, Seidenburg M, Wendel E, Westerlund S. Maximizing Recovery in the Postpartum Period: A Timeline for Rehabilitation from Pregnancy through Return to Sport. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2022 Oct 1;17(6):1170-1183. doi: 10.26603/001c.37863. PMID: 36237644; PMCID: PMC9528725.

Donnelly, G & Brockwell, E & Rankin, A & Moore, I. (2022). Clinical Commentary – Beyond the Musculoskeletal System: Considering Whole-Systems Readiness for Running Postpartum. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. 46. 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000218.

This blog link is also great reading with cool infographics! Click here