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UK Coaching Participation Team
Females Improving Physical Ability Supporting Specific Needs

Coaching Women Returning to Activity After Childbirth – Episode 2

A series of five articles by Senior Physiotherapist and Postnatal Pelvic Health Specialist Victoria Bateman highlighting some key challenges faced by women after giving birth. The second part of the series focuses on returning to running and high impact activity

Running as well as other forms of exercise after childbirth can improve physical fitness and help facilitate weight loss as well as give a chance for socialising and some ‘me time.’  

Quality evidence is starting to become available to help guide the postnatal female back to exercise after childbirth. There is lots to consider, and the coach, healthcare or fitness professional plays a huge role here in facilitating a safe and progressive return. 


  • How does a female’s body change during pregnancy?
  • What happens to their shape and their weight? 
  • What happens to their centre of mass? 
  • How might this affect posture, muscles and supportive tissues?


After childbirth, more considerations need to be made when returning the postnatal female back to running or high impact activity. This is all because of the stress and strain that pregnancy, hormones, breastfeeding and childbirth have on the body. 


What is the approach you take when you injure a muscle? Do you rest and do nothing for a week and get straight back to the level and intensity of exercise you were doing before? Or do you take some advice, maybe work on strengthening and stretching the muscle, loading it progressively and focus on a guided return to your pre-injury level of exercise?


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UK Coaching Participation Team