Note: this post contains words related to child-birth. If theses sort of words make you light-headed, please look at this post instead.
Shortly after every pregnancy I’ve opened up my laptop, pulled up the internet and typed in to the search bar things like “postpartum mountain biking”, “how soon can I mountain bike after pregnancy”, “mountain biking after delivery”, “getting back on my bike after vaginal delivery”, etc.
I never find anything. No testimonials, no words of wisdom, no pictorials. Nada. I am going to rectify that situation. This post is for all those new OutsideMoms looking to see when other Moms get back on their mountain bikes after the brutal event known as ‘giving birth’.
Of course I don’t really have the answer for when to get back on your bike. One of my OB’s guessed maybe 4 months, the other two didn’t really have an opinion. So I asked Jen, thinking surely this mountain biking mother guru would know when I could bike. No luck, she had C-sections with both of her boys and “was told to wait eight weeks instead of the standard six”. Hmmm… at least that told me that six weeks was standard, which is more than I’d known before.
Jen did, however, direct me to this article about Sari Anderson (avid mountain biker, among other things) on the Skirt Sports blog. According to Sari she started biking a week after delivery (her kids were 4.5 lbs & 6 lbs) and was racing again by eight weeks! Dang! Note: She admits her Doctor’s probably wouldn’t have liked it, see her comment in the comments sections on the events surrounding her decision.
It really does all depend on what kind of delivery you have. C-section or vaginal, episiotomy or not, postpartum issues or quick recovery, etc. Even for me this amount of time has varied with each of my three kids for various reasons. With my first there was no way I was getting on a bike before eight weeks, in fact I’m pretty sure it took even longer (major episiotomy and broken/bruised tail bone). With my third I was back on the bike by five weeks (small natural tear). After a rough pregnancy I was anxious to get out. I judged my ‘readiness’ by the amount of discomfort I felt, and never rode while I was stitched.
And to ease the transition back onto my back, two of my sympathizing fellow OutsideMoms gave me the best post-pregnancy gifts a mother could ask for.
What on earth are these you ask? My friends Amber and Claudia, knowing how anxious I was to get back on my bike, made and/or sent the following.
1. A circular jell filled Elmo ice pack, simply place in the refrigerator and take out before riding. Slip Elmo into the handy mesh pouch, attach it to the seat of your bike and feel it’s coolness soothe you.
2. Known to some as a theething ring, this circular jell filled ring can also be placed in the refigerator, it’s squishy yet firm and will lift your you-know-what off the seat so as not to disturb that area which is trying to heal. Comes with a luxurious swade pouch.
3. For those (of us) who have a history of tail bone injuries while giving birth, this rubbery air filled doughnut can be ever-so-no- at-all discretely strapped to any bike seat for maximum comfort and extra bounce.
I only wish I would have needed to try some of those inventions out.
I would love to hear (as would anyone who ever finds this post via a google search) how long others have waited to start biking again.