Running After Having a Baby – The Equipment you Need
Once you have a baby, going out for a run is never quite as simple as just slipping on your running shoes and heading out the door. Finding the time in your day to run now takes meticulous planning and coordination – but it’s totally worth it!
Having the right gear ready to go will make your return to running journey so much smoother.
Here are five things that will make running after having a baby much easier!
1. Supportive Nursing Sports Bra
These are a must-have for any postpartum mother! After having a baby, you’ll probably need a bit of extra support than you needed pre-baby. Good nursing sports bras will have a nice tight fit and a supportive structure. This will make running postpartum much more comfortable!
The bonus of a nursing sports bra is the front clips. If you’re out with your baby or come home to a crying, hungry bubs, you can easily feed without having to maneuver your (sweaty) self out of a traditional sports bra.
2. Good Running Shoes
This is a bit of a no-brainer and obviously something every runner needs whether they’ve just had a baby or not. But, postpartum runners will often need new running shoes because their pre-pregnancy ones no longer fit right.
During pregnancy, all the ligaments in your body loosen and your joints move slightly. This is most significantly noticed in the pelvis, but it also happens in the feet. Due to this, pregnant and postpartum women often report having flatter, wider feet.
You might find that the shoes you wore running before pregnancy no longer feel supportive for your feet, or they might just be tighter than before. If that’s the case, you should visit your local running store and get fitted for a new pair before you start upping your miles.
3. Jogging Stroller
Not every running mum needs a jogging stroller, but if you’d like to incorporate running with baby into your routine, a stroller designed to handle running is important.
Jogging strollers typically have 3 wheels, with the front wheel locked forward. They are lightweight, have good shock absorbency, and can handle rougher terrain.
With a good jogging stroller, a run outside will be enjoyable for both you and your baby. Just remember, these have less support than a typical stroller so you’ll need to wait until your baby has good control of their head and torso in sitting before using it – generally around the 6 to 7 month age.
4. Resistance Bands
Postpartum running mums need to do some extra strength training in order to avoid injuries. Getting out to a gym can be near impossible (especially if you’re using your exercise time to run). Luckily, there are tonnes of great exercises you can do at home with just a resistance band and some furniture around the house. Our postpartum strengthening program has well over 100 home exercises for postpartum running mums!
You can buy these bands online or in local sports stores. They usually come in a pack with different strengths so you can use a variety of bands throughout your postpartum strengthening journey.
5. Foam Roller & Massage Ball
Once you start running and strength training you’ll surely feel the after-effects of exercising in your muscles – bring on those sore, achy legs! Plus, not only are you increasing the amount of exercise you’re doing, you’re also lacking some sleep and carrying around a baby all day, so you’ll find your muscles need a bit of extra TLC.
Foam rollers and massage balls are perfect for loosening and soothing tight, sore muscles.
You can buy all sorts of fancy foam rollers and massage balls in sports stores – or if you can keep it really simple. If you’re on a budget, a tennis ball is a great substitute for a massage ball. I actually prefer tennis balls because they have a bit of give to them so they’re not as painful to use!
Founder and lead Physiotherapist behind The Runners Physio.
Alina is a physiotherapist and strength & conditioning specialist from Adelaide, South Australia. She graduated from the University of South Australia in 2011 and has over 10 years experience as a sports physiotherapist focusing on running performance and injury rehabilitation.
In 2016, Alina started The Runners Physio with a mission to give runners better access to injury prevention and treatment options online. Her simple but effective approach to injury rehab has successfully helped thousands of runners overcome injury and get back to running faster and healthier.
As a keen runner and new mother herself, Alina knows all too well the challenges of running postpartum (and the joy of getting out of the house and moving your body!). She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge with other postpartum runners and helping women return to the sport they love while staying injury-free.