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Leela Corman 03-24-2010 10:25 AM

Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
I searched the board and didn't find anything on this specific question, so I'm posting here. I had a baby almost 4 months ago. The delivery was uneventful (unless you count the doctor who now has my bootprint in his ***). 4 weeks postpartum I started working out again, doing hatha yoga and some light Xfit workouts, mostly bodyweight. Soon after that, I started doing exercises with more impact occasionally, and suddenly was in so much pain, in places I'd never hurt before - every toe hurt, my heels, my ankles, lower back even (I never have back problems). The balls of my feet felt like they could barely support me when dancing. I tried to ignore the pain, like I used to always do, but after a weekend dance workshop intensive that made me feel crippled, I backed off and rested for a couple of weeks. I'd like to go back to stronger workouts, though I don't feel ready for the highest intensity yet. But I don't want to do damage. I need my body to function. What exactly is going on? I feel like I'm ignorant of specific information about the body after birth, and I'm not getting any answers from my midwife or dr. - the midwife told me to do crunches to close my small diastasis, if that tells you anything!

So, what do I need to know? I have no exercise physiology training at all.

Thanks in advance from a pretty new Crossfitter.

Matt Haxmeier 03-24-2010 10:36 AM

Re: Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
Our Doctor told my wife not to do any exercise at all for 6 weeks, which I think is pretty standard. Your body just went through some major crap and 6 weeks is considered the minimum time to recover. By starting so early you probably didn't do yourself any favors.

Also, I believe a woman's body has all sorts of strange things happen with regard to elasticity/flexibility in getting ready to pop a baby out a pea hole. As a result your joints require some time to go back to normal. And some, like your feet, may not. My wife gained a half a shoe size with our first kid and still has it. She has had some feet problems since then.

So in general I'd say you really need to ease into things as much as possible. Have some patience and listen to your body.

Jeff Martin 03-24-2010 10:44 AM

Re: Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
Send an email to, and check out (WFS).

Leela Corman 03-24-2010 10:51 AM

Re: Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
Jeff, I did Xfit Mom for my entire pregnancy. I posted this here because it's really a postpartum issue, not a pregnancy issue :). But I did also ask on that forum. I was hoping for more detailed info.

Gerhard Lavin 03-26-2010 07:32 AM

Re: Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
Leela it may be a case of too much too soon. A weekend dance workshop sounds like a lot of time on your feet. Relaxin remains in the body for a period of time after birth, possibly up to 6 months. It relaxes the tendons including the tendons of the feet which means your feet and leg muscles have to work much harder to stabilize. This can result in joint pain. There is a article about that issue here. (WFS)

My Wife gave birth to our second child 6 weeks ago and started very gentle exercise at 4 weeks. She is now doing some light body weight work and stretching most days and short runs a few times per week. No issues so far. After her previous pregnancy she started back dancing after about 5 months. No issues initially but as she really got into it she experienced some back and hip issues. I believe part of the reason was technically she could perform at a certain level but her body had not recovered sufficiently to support that level of performance. She intends to take things slower this time.

Leela Corman 03-26-2010 08:27 AM

Re: Exercise Physiology (I think)/Postpartum Question
Ger, thanks! I had no idea there was a blog completely devoted to pregnancy and postpartum foot pain! God, I love the internet.

I had no idea that my feet could be so affected. Yes, that was a lot of time on my feet. I didn't start working out harder until after my 6-week checkup, but I did do too much too soon - it's so true about the body not being ready to support a certain level of performance. My stamina is all there, core strength is about 80% back, but the ligaments and joints can't support the activity yet. It's so frustrating!

I really wish that the medical professionals who deal with women had more knowledge. The help I've gotten here and at Xfit Mom, during and after pregnancy, is way beyond anything the midwife or doc could give me, and that's a shame. I shudder to think that my midwife is telling other ladies to do crunches right now!

Anyway, thank you. Trying to back off!

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