Why Some Moms Don’t Jog

I just had a dear friend over who has a sweet little newborn that my children simply adored.  After she left and the kids were asleep, I was reflecting on that stage of motherhood with a brand new baby and all it’s joys and challenges.  This post is for all the new mama’s who feel pressured to have a jogging stroller…and to use it.  This is also for all of those (husbands included) who might not understand why all moms aren’t out there jogging with their babies.  CAUTION: this post may contain taboo, but real life, info and my mom might not approve of me writing about these things in a public place (sorry mom–although I know you’ll agree with what I have to say).  Here are my thoughts:

  • New moms who just gave birth to a baby have been through A LOT.  They either pushed a big baby out of a small hole or they just had a major surgery.  It takes a long time for the body to heal, and it will likely never be the same again.  Simply walking might be painful enough for a new mom…it took a long time for me to not feel like my insides were going to fall out when I went for a walk, let alone a jog.
  • A breastfeeding mom trying to run is like cows and their utters prancing through a field.  One sports bra just does not do the trick.  Talk about being uncomfortable!  *A reader reminded me that vigorous exercise can cause a drop in milk supply.  Exercising breastfeeders need to make sure they are getting enough nutrition and water to keep up with the demands of a nursing child.  Sometimes the body just isn’t ready to do both. (Thanks, Sarah!)
  • Some may think that moms have all the time in the world to do fun things like go for a jog, but it is not always that easy.  Between feedings and diaper changes and naps, having opportunities to go for a jog in ideal weather conditions for a baby are rare.  Keep in mind jogging involves changing out of a nursing tank and putting on multiple sports bras as well as socks and shoes, and then usually requires a shower afterwards…all of which have to coordinate with the baby’s schedule.
  • Moms with babies don’t sleep very much…you all should know this.  Having the energy to walk is one thing, but the energy to jog is another.  Yes, moderate exercise can give you energy (therefore you should do it), but vigorous exercise might just zap you of energy that a sleepless mom can’t spare.  After both of my kids, I was more tired the second half of the baby’s first year–so even if a mom doesn’t have a newborn, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t tired.
  • So maybe a mom gets to the point where she is ready to start running again.  Often times, it’s not too long until she will be needing a double stroller.
Here is my point:  mamas, cut yourselves some slack.  Before I was a mom, I had a glorious picture in my mind of myself going for daily runs with my perfect child.  I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t be active.  I AM saying that running is not the only acceptable form of exercise.  Our culture tends to see running as the gold standard and they tend to put pressure on moms to buy a jogging stroller and lose the baby weight.  I am not giving new moms an excuse to not be healthy and active, but I am giving voice to those who may feel the mom pressure to buy a really expensive jogging stroller and run because that is what is expected of them.  If you are a mom who uses a jogging stroller and loves it, then by all means, jog on!

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