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Returning to Sports Postpartum: Tips from a Freshly Minted Mom 2.0

With so many patients excitedly expecting little bundles of joy and me being fresh off the postpartum train myself, I thought it’d be helpful to share some tips on safely getting back into physical activity and sports from a therapist’s perspective.

1. Be Realistic with Your Return

Even if you stayed active throughout your pregnancy, remember you haven’t been performing at 100% for at least 10 months. Patience is key, even if it’s not your strong suit. Think of it as a new starting line, not the same race you left.

2. Nutrition is Your New Best Friend

Your body needs more than just carbs and healthy fats for energy, protein for muscle building, and veggies and fruit for all the vital functions. Plus, you now have a tiny human siphoning off those nutrients. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re essentially eating for two. If you’re not, it’s still a round-the-clock job. Snack throughout the day and hydrate like it’s your job!

3. Sleep is a Unicorn

Let’s be real—your sleep is going to take a hit. Even if your baby is a champion sleeper, you probably won’t be getting those pre-baby hours of rest. Sleep is crucial for recovery, so sneak in naps whenever you can. It’s all about quality over quantity now. No, I’m not suggesting you “sleep whenever your baby sleeps”. If you can, great. That’s not an option for a lot of us, what I’m trying to say is sleep whenever YOU can and ask for help wherever you’re comfortable with asking for help.

4. Beware of Relaxin

Relaxin, the hormone that preps your joints for childbirth, sticks around postpartum. It can take 6-12 months to level out, longer if you’re breastfeeding. This means your joints are more prone to injuries. Focus on strength training and stick with each program for 2-3 weeks consistently before diving back into competitive sports (aim for 4-5 programs).

5. Mind and Body Sync

Mental exhaustion affects your physical performance, and physical exhaustion affects your mental state. It’s a vicious cycle. Listen to your body just like you did during pregnancy. Give yourself grace and take it slow; this is one of the hardest parts of returning to sports.

Bonus Tip

Time will play its role, but you can nudge the process along ever so slightly. Regular treatments like massage therapy, chiropractic care, and pelvic floor physiotherapy can be game-changers. Think of them as part of your training regimen.

So, hang in there, mamas! You’re on a new journey, and every small step counts. Here’s to hitting the ground running—one baby step at a time!

Jeannette Quach

Certified Athletic Therapist, Registered Massage Therapist

To book an appointment for Massage Therapy or Athletic Therapy, you can call (647)498-MVMT(6868) or click here! Please direct any questions about the article or any sports/injury/parenthood questions to


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