Parenting Now!

Postpartum Exercise Challenges

Women’s bodies go through extraordinary transformations during pregnancy, and these changes continue even after the baby is born. After the birth of my daughter, the ligaments in my feet loosened and none of my running shoes fit! Finding a shoe with a wider toe helped prevent any pain and injury while I got back into my exercise routine.

How Your Body May Change

Due to relaxing ligaments in the third trimester, many women have wider hips after pregnancy. This can affect your gait as it changes the angle at which the IT band connects the hip to the knee, potentially causing inflammation and pain. I like doing the standing glute stretch to help prevent pain and injury. For most women, those ligaments will tighten back up over time, but it’s important to start slowly when getting back into a workout routine after having a baby.

Work At Your Own Pace

More than anything else, my postpartum body was TIRED in those first few months. And with good reason! Rest is important for any exercise regime, but even more so after delivering a baby. Your exercise habits should help you parent more effectively, not leave you run down. Start slow and give yourself plenty of rest and nutritious food to help you recover, and be gentle on yourself as your body learns its new capabilities.

Join me in Parenting Now’s Mother’s Day 5K on May 14 at Alton Baker Park. Starting at 9 am, take a stroll or run along the beautiful Willamette River—all in support of families in our community. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook @ParentingNowEugene.

Stayed tuned as guest blogger Erin Bowling gets us ready for Parenting Now!’s Mother’s Day 5K. She will post once per week with postpartum exercise tips.