Exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes: 2016/17 evidence summary from the IOC Expert Group Meeting, Lausanne. Part 3 - Exercise in the postpartum period

Kari Bø*, Raul Artal, Ruben Barakat, Wendy J. Brown, Gregory A.L. Davies, Michael Dooley, Kelly R. Evenson, Lene A.H. Haakstad, Bengt Kayser, Tarja I. Kinnunen, Karin Larsén, Michelle F. Mottola, Ingrid Nygaard, Mireille Van Poppel, Britt Stuge, Karim M. Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This is Part 3 in the series of reviews from the IOC expert committee on exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes. Part 1 focused on the effects of training during pregnancy and on the management of common pregnancy-related complaints experienced by athletes1; Part 2 addressed maternal and fetal perinatal outcomes.2 In this part, we review the implications of pregnancy and childbirth on return to exercise and on common illnesses and complaints in the postpartum period. The postpartum period can be divided into hospital-based (during hospital stay), immediate postpartum (hospital discharge to 6 weeks postpartum) and later postpartum (6 weeks to 1 year, corresponding sometimes to cessation of breast feeding).3 In the literature, the postpartum period is usually defined as the first 6 weeks after pregnancy, during which time women have not typically been encouraged to exercise, except for strength training of the pelvic floor muscles. However, 6 weeks is an arbitrary time point and, anecdotally, many elite athletes report starting exercise inside that period. For the purpose of the present review, we consider the postpartum period to be up to 12 months following birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1525
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume51
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

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