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Return to sport after pregnancy

Updated: Apr 14

Evidence in literatur return to sport

Unfortunately, there are only a few trustworthy guidelines in the medical databases that can give us insights into how to return to sports after pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, the recommendations of doctors, therapists and midwives are not always satisfactory.

... it is crucial that specialist pelvic health physiotherapists, midwives and obstetric and gynaecological consultants are included in the multidisciplinary team supporting their return-to-sport. - Donnelly et al.

A new study*, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2021, provides an overview of the conditions for return to sport. The authors recommend the cooperation between a multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors, pelvic floor physiotherapists (book your appointment with us today here) and midwives in order to be able to optimally accompany pregnant women in their everyday sporting life and profession.

It was identified that the 6-week postnatal check is too long to wait for postnatal women to resume or begin a low intensity physical activity program. Evenson et al.

Recommendations and requirements

The first physiotherapy session should be started soon after birth.

Basically, it is important that we therapists preserve the individuality of each patient. To do this, we must write down in advance information about the pregnancy, the birth as well as the professional and everyday situation. Together with the physical examination, we can set short- and long-term goals and gradually increase the return to the sport.

The assessment is based on subjectively and objectively determined tests, which give us information about the anatomical and physiological conditions of the pelvic area. The surrounding trunk muscles should also be included in the examination. A holistic approach with more information about nutrition, recovery, sleep, type of sport and equipment for it should be considered.


At Physio Restart, among other things, a biofeedback measurement is carried out, which examines the perception, tension and relaxation capacity of the pelvic floor.


Are you looking for professional support for your return to sport? Feel free to contact us and read more here.


Author:

Anneke Penny


Book appointment for Physiotherapy, Massage oder Group classes: here.



References:

1. Donnelly GM, Moore IS, Brockwell E, et al Reframing return-to-sport postpartum: the 6 Rs framework British Journal of Sports Medicine 2022;56:244-245.

2. Donnelly, G., Brockwell, E., & Goom, T. (2020). Return to running postnatal - guideline for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population. Physiotherapy 2020;107,188-189.

3. Evenson, K. R., Mottola, M. F., Owe, K. M., Rousham, E. K. and Brown, W. Summary of International Guidelines for Physical Activity Following Pregnancy Obstet Gynecol Surv 2014;69(7):407–414.

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