Norman Regional Health System

Female athletes do not have to surrender an active, athletic lifestyle once becoming a mom. You can thrive through pregnancy and then lead by example with your kids to show them just how important life-long athletics are for a healthy body and mind.

mother and daughter exercising image

Physical activity and exercise during pregnancy can optimize the overall health of mother and baby-to-be. There are some important factors to be aware of while training through pregnancy such as metabolic changes, caloric and nutrient demands, joint laxity and body load changes.

The postpartum period is an ideal time to start a healthier lifestyle or gradually resume your training. Timing for return to sport depends on mode of delivery, complications and overall stress levels. Pelvic floor dysfunction, urine incontinence, diastasis recti and chronic pelvic pain are common in athletes following delivery, however none of these are normal. Best outcomes are achieved when these are prioritized within the first three months to avoid adverse changes in posture, dysfunction, low back pain and future injuries.

Breastfeeding offers many benefits for both mother and baby. While breastfeeding requires a higher caloric demand in addition to the added stress on an athlete’s body when training, it is possible to maintain milk supply while getting back to exercise, training and competition. Hormone and nutrient imbalances are common during the postpartum period, but are rarely screened by conventional medicine. Imbalances that may need to be addressed include your vitamin/mineral status, hormonal balance, thyroid function and adrenal function. NMOTION’s functional sports medicine providers can help you transition back to sport while ensuring your health and performance are not compromised.