Individualised assessments and guided pelvic floor rehabilitation can help to prevent and manage pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence and sexual function postnatally. Therefore, health care professionals should screen women for key symptoms and risk factors of pelvic floor and abdominal wall dysfunctions before return to running. Women should follow low impact exercises within the first 3 months postnatally.
Pelvic health assessments
All women should be offered the opportunity to receive a pelvic health assessment postnatally with a specialised physiotherapist and should not return to running prior to 3-6 months.
Low impact exercises and strength testing
Pelvic floor and musculoskeletal physiotherapists should work together to evaluate the ability to return to running postnatally. They should assess on the side of caution and combine time-based criteria with signs, tests and recognised risk factors that are outlined in these guidelines. Postnatal mothers need to receive a series of low impact exercises and extensive strength testing, which are outlined in the guidelines before considering to return to running.
Individualised rehabilitation programme
The authors discuss how further factors such as breathing, psychological status, breastfeeding, et cetera. should be taken into consideration. Prescribed rehabilitation needs to vary depending on individual presentations and needs.