RETURN TO EXERCISE GUIDELINES
The current evidence surrounding post-partum return to exercise is relatively weak and lacks focus, clarity and consistency.
Liz Quinn, is a physiotherapist at The Injury Clinic with a special interest in post-partum health and well-being. She has created a guideline, based on current evidence (and to a degree, personal experience), to assist post-partum women return safely and confidently to exercise, inclusive of high impact activities such as running.
Phases within this guideline include:
Phase 1: Early post-partum (0-6 weeks)
Goal – To ensure adequate pelvic floor activation, start gentle exercise and resume normal daily activities; exercise and activity goals are discussed, and education regarding the importance of a gradual return to high impact exercise is provided
Phase 2: Introduction to strengthening (6 weeks onwards)
Goal – To establish realistic exercise goals; and commence safe and effective muscle retraining and strengthening
Phase 3: Strength and function (8 weeks onwards)
Goal – To progress load and of strengthening exercises to ensure clients are safe and confident to progress towards high impact exercise
Phase 4: Strength and plyometrics (12+ weeks)
Goal – To have the required strength and stability to safely achieve a return to high impact activity