Pregnant & Postpartum Running with Dr. Rachel Selman DPT, CSCS

Misconceptions and misunderstandings abound when it comes to running and pregnancy. With the research constantly evolving it can be tough to keep up, but patience in the recovery process will ultimately pay off in the long term.

From the time a woman finds out she is pregnant to the postpartum period and beyond, a woman’s body goes through an intense array of changes. If you’re a runner who is pregnant, planning on a pregnancy, or trying to get back to running after giving birth, you may have gotten limited or conflicting information about what activities are appropriate and when.

Thankfully, we have moved beyond the idea that a woman’s uterus will fall out from running!  But the science of what activities are healthiest for pregnant and postpartum women has been slow to evolve. Until the past few years the recommendations have been more restrictive than necessary during pregnancy, and often the opposite extreme after the 6-week postpartum period.

Dr. Rachel Selman on Running and Pregnancy

This week’s guest on the podcast is here to help you make sense of it all.  Dr. Rachel Selman is a physical therapist based in Georgia who specializes in pregnant and postpartum athletes. She is also a mom and a runner.

Rachel is certified as both a Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner.  She is a wealth of information for new and expecting moms who are trying to figure out how their running will be affected by pregnancy and childbirth.

Pregnancy and running is admittedly not my area of expertise. But Rachel is here to help! She talks in depth about what to expect during each of the trimesters of pregnancy, and the best way to help your body heal and get strong again after giving birth.

We discuss a number of important topics for pregnant and postpartum women, including:

  • The importance of core strength leading into pregnancy
  • Focusing on maintaining rather than building fitness while pregnant
  • Learning to run by rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to guide your activity level
  • What we’ve learned in the past few years about running during all three trimesters of pregnancy
  • Red flags to watch out for when you are running while pregnant
  • How it can benefit your body to take up to 12 weeks before you start running again

If you’re a new or expecting mom, you won’t want to miss my conversation with Rachel.

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


This episode is brought to you by InsideTracker, one of the most reputable blood testing companies in the world. They were founded in 2009 by aging, genetics, and biometrics scientists to help you analyze your body’s data and get a firm idea of how well you’re responding to training.

Understanding your body’s biomarkers, from stress hormones to testosterone to Vitamin D, can help you figure out if you’re over-training, under-training, optimally training, or if you have a health issue that might be affecting your running. But the best part is that they give you personalized optimal ranges for each of these biomarkers and a host of ways to improve these markers through diet, lifestyle, or exercise changes.

I’ve personally gotten three Ultimate tests from them and the process is simple, easy, and very eye-opening if you haven’t done a deep dive on your biomarkers yet.  Of all the investments you can make in your running, this one is like getting a detailed checkup or regularly scheduled maintenance for your internal physiology. 

If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, get 25% off any of their blood tests with code STRENGTHRUNNING at InsideTracker.

Thank you Elemental Labs!

A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. And you can get a free sampler pack of 4 flavors and 8 individual packets when you pay $5 in shipping.

Elemental Labs’ products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.

The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.

There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense. So check out Elemental Labs to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack. 

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