Week 38: Looking Ahead: Full Speed Ahead

Although aqua jogging has proven to be quite a workout. I'm looking forward to when I can run  again. Thanks to my foot it won't be until post partum. Call me a princess but after months of running with extra poundage I can't wait to run with a little less load.  People voice many concerns about running postpartum, with no disrespect I am a bit tired if hearing it actually.  I am not all that concerned, if I have  a postpartum issue that makes running not possible it will be self evident. I don't think I need tons of warnings for something that will render itself obvious. I plan to just deal with what is. This may sound bratty but after months of running with increasing load I feel entitled to attempt running as soon as I feel healthy enough and have the energy to try.

I realize there are some concerns: The Bebe
Baby out of the womb and on Board the stroller.

 I am really looking forward to running with Baby in the BOB.

The concern would be BOB recommends not running with the stroller until the baby is 6 months. The car seat adapter is not bolted in place, BOB does not want to get sued by people who fail to secure the car seat into the stroller, however it is safe for walking? The infant adapter is quite secure and I feel the baby will be just fine.  Sadly, I ....do.....not .....run ....fast.... enough to worry the car seat may eject itself.  People voice concerns about head and neck stability. First, that is what the car seat adapter is designed for. It provides proper fit with head and neck support. I personally know teenagers that were placed in running strollers as infants with no adapter. If you ask the parents the only problem they have today is that they are  teenagers. Tim did two long rotations at Children's Hospital, while there he worked many, many, many, many, many, many, many,many hours. He saw lots of children/infant orthopaedic issues. He saw zero head and neck injuries from riding in a running stroller. He does have a few things to say about the safety of tightly swaddled hips.
I am fairly convinced the BOB stroller is a more plush ride than my 1999 Mazda. If for some reason running with a baby in the stroller is a concern I do have an EE Treadmill. I call it EE, for excuse eliminator. Seriously it works. Tim and I don't use it too much because it is a great motivator to run in the rain, cold, dark, you name it. We bought it used for $300 and it has been worth every penny. As you can imagine a $300 treadmill  is very basic. No TV , no bells or whistles. Guess what? In about a month it will be a state of the art Alter G treadmill since my last run on land had me at 29 lbs above baseline. Tim lost 5 lbs because we went off cookies so it's an Alter G treadmill for him too.

The alter G treadmill allows you to run at a percentage of your body weight.

Fatigue Factor
If I had a penny for every time I was told to sleep when the baby sleeps I'd be rich, rich, rich!I respect I will be tired. It sounds as though babies sleep a lot during the day though ;)  I have  "a limited time only offer" to run on a luxurious alter G treadmill and  I may be motivated to run during one of those naps and through fatigue.
After all the limited time offer to run on the Alter G treadmill will expire and then....it's just a treadmill. A lot of new Mom's find time to watch Oprah. I don't own a TV so for me a treadmill trot is the same thing. I am fairly certain my mother did not sleep whenever I slept. My brothers would have burned down the house. Seeing as the house is still standing, I believe she survived without napping every time I did.
The Effects of Pregnancy and Delivery on the Body:

There are a lot of scary rumors about what happens to the female body during delivery. Somewhere somebody came up with a rule that if a woman ran within 6 weeks of giving birth she would be incontinent for the rest of her life. Although, some women do have unfortunate pelvic floor issues post partum. I'm a bit tired of hearing "if you run too soon after delivery you will be incontinent for the rest of your life". Yes, some women have issues and need treatment for this sad but real problem.....but research has proven it was not caused by running. It is just physiological misfortune. Urinary and fecal incontinence  have NEVER been proven to be linked to post partum running. Although the latter may be hard to convince you on. 
True, he probably wouldn't have crapped his pants if he wasn't out running.

 Somewhere a blanket rule of know activity above a walk for six weeks post partum was formed. I have a HUGE amount of respect for heeding the body's needs and an even bigger one to  the bonding and developing  of feeding schedules with a new baby.  I do not believe in blanket recommendations. Besides that, I can name names of people who didn't wait 6 weeks to run (try less than 6 days for a few) and are not, and have never been incontinent. I also deem them to be good parents, in fact probably better parents then if they would have holed their naturally active selves up inside watching TV, weeping while the effects of changing hormones kicked in. To protect their privacy I'll refer to the guidelines set by the Mayo Clinic. I actually worked at the Mayo of Scottsdale when I was a travel nurse and I will say they are top notch. For a full report see below:

The skinny is below:

"In the past, health care providers often instructed women to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to begin exercising. The waiting game may be over, however. If you exercised during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it's generally safe to begin exercising within days of delivery — or as soon as you feel ready." 

I highlighted the uncomplicated. I am optimistic in hoping for the best but also realistic. I would rather focus on the  positive, like Kara Goucher running a personal best of 2:24 at Boston this year, 7 months post partum.

What Kara did seems to be nothing new either.

Courtesy of Active.com I learned In 1982, elite runner Ingrid Kristiansen ran a 2:33 marathon and on investigating why it was (for her) so slow, discovered that she was four months pregnant. Oopsie. Four months after giving birth, she won the Houston Marathon in 2:27 and three months later set the women's world record in the London Marathon in 2:21.It is a wonder the pregnancy and post partum police did not arrest her!

I'm also a realistic enough person to know that expectations and plans may have to change based on the reality of the situation. Oh yeah...and don't worry I am not setting unrealistic goal like personally running a 2:40 marathon. I do feel that a lot of goals and hopes in life are naturally limited, There is no use sitting home watching Golden Girls (with a bowl of Golden Grahams in hand that's what I do when I watch TV) thinking I can't return to normal activity because I "might have" a physical complication. I might be healthy as a horse too and wouldn't that be a terrible thing to waste.

There are concerns regarding the stability pelvic region post partum. Orthopedists like to keep things simple and based on my consultation with husband and my review of case reports the advice is simple. Activity as tolerated. Meaning whatever can be tolerated is probably safe. If you have some PSD it will be uncomfortable and one will adjust your activity or seek treatment as needed. Same with coming back from a C-section, one probably will be too uncomfortable to harm  healing with activity. When one is able to tolerate the activity the area is probably healed sufficiently.

Anectdotaly speaking, a friend , who is a physical therapist, noted that women who wore slightly too tight skinny jeans post partum improved faster than others with PSD because the too tight jeans functioned as an S1 brace.
Baby Food:

The final concern would be the effect of running on lactation. The Mayo Clinic addresses the subject and  it's not much of an issue. Ok, if you are racing and producing lactic acid  the milk can taste funny and the baby may not like it. If this is a issue they suggest the good old "pump and dump" immediately post workout then feeding 30 minutes later.

 I'm no expert but I what guides me is this thought. Milk in Switzerland tastes better. I wonder why?

American Cow, compare to the mom not allowed to go run, forced into confinement.

Swiss cow, compare to the mom out running and free from confinement.

You decide what is healthy and best for mom and baby.


Michelle Simmons said...

You're probably sick and tired of hearing about what other new moms did, but I'll tell you anyway. :) I think my first jog was ~9 days after Moana was born. And I had her in the Bob really early too- my doc said that as long as she's in the car seat with the adapter it was just as safe as being in a car (probably safer!) so I never stressed any of that shit. Moana and I are both fine. I will tell you I do feel a massive urge to piss myself if I bike or run ridiculously hard for too long, but I had that before I gave birth too so I don't think it's related. :)

busy mama said...

Don't stress about it, just do what feels right for you. Other parents always have 1000 parenting tips for you but it is ultimately about you and your husband and your baby. Go get them!

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Thanks ladies!

idropboys said...

Great great post!!!! glad you put it out there...miss you!

GoBigGreen said...

Hey I am not a mom so i cant possibly pretend to have any valid opinions on that, but as a PT i think the AlterG is fabulous, I have used one a few times and loved it. Sorta awkward to get a wedgie from those shorts but other than that..:)
Good luck with the foot, and you will figure it out. my sister ran pretty close to giving birth, as you said, it just sorta depends on your body!