Digestive Problems

Being a mom is exhausting. It’s not just the lack of sleep, but the endless to-do list and the never ending work load of running a house and worrying about your kids and clawing at the little bit of time you have to take care of yourself. Running is particularly popular for moms because it requires little to no equipment and you can push your babies with you.

If you’re a dedicated runner or just like to go out for a jog once in awhile, here’s 4 tips to help your pelvic floor and abdomen (especially if you have Diastasis Recti) get and stay healthy.

  1. Make sure you strength train. Most of the runners I know (my pre-pregnancy self included) HATE strength training and either do so begrudgingly or avoid it. Strength training is always important, but it becomes VITAL to your pelvic floor and whole body health after pregnancy. Proper strength and coordination of the core, pelvic floor, ankles, and shoulders can help heal or prevent prolapse, incontinence, Diastasis Recti, back pain, hip pain, and keep you running further and longer.

  2. Make sure you prioritize fueling your body. Most moms are depleted. Lack of sleep, busy schedules, and growing humans can deplete our bodies of essential nutrients and minerals. And if you’ve had trauma (birth trauma, sexual trauma, etc.), you may have poor gut health (this is a common, underdiagnosed symptom of PTSD), which can further deplete you. Some easy foods and habits to start to incorporate are:

    1. Eating enough protein.Protein helps you have enough energy and build muscle which long term can help with core and pelvic floor health. A broad recommendation is to aim for 30g of protein per serving. This may need to be higher if you are breastfeeding or working out a lot.
    2. Adding salt, phosphorus, and magnesium to your water. If you’re just drinking straight water, pee often, and it’s pretty much clear, you’re probably not getting as much water into your cells as you think. Our cells, muscles, and bladders need hydration and minerals. Adding this to your water can help get it into your body and not just pee it right out. You can do this by popping an electrolyte tab into your water or what I do is: make a salt pack in a mason jar with ½ himalayan salt and ½ filtered water, shake it up, and use ½ tsp + lemon, powdered magnesium + powdered phosphorus in your water jug.
    3. Adding in fermented foods. Fermented foods help with digestion and can take the pressure off of an irritated belly or pelvic floor (hello Diastasis Recti, peeing your pants or heaviness from prolapse) to help aid healing. I love kimchi or sauerkraut with eggs in the morning, miso soup, and sourdough bread. I try to get a serving in every day (but often fall short!)
  3. It’s okay to walk. If you’re feeling truly depleted, don’t push through it. If your toddler didn’t sleep or your baby screamed all day and you want to just stretch, take a day or two and walk or take off completely. We love to use heart rate variability for when to train hard or rest and have other tricks to help you tune into your body to know when to rest or run.

  4. Make sure you see a pelvic floor PT that specializes in runners. There are specific strength and coordination drills that you need to be able to do to heal and prevent injury. We can run you through these tests, identify your strengths and problem areas, and tailor a program to keep you running, improve your pace, and improve your energy.

If you want to do a running assessment to tackle core or pelvic floor problems or just make sure you're preventing them, book a free consult with us in our Wexford, PA office, Greensburg, PA office or book a virtual appointment if you live in Pittsburgh, PA or anywhere in the world!