Today I ran The Yonge Street 10K race in Toronto, 15 months to the day after the birth of my baby girl.

It has been a long road back to being healthy enough to toe the line of this race.

Being at this end of the journey and reflecting back, I wish that I could give that new mom in me the knowledge and advice I have now.

Through pregnancy and delivery our bodies go through so many changes. For us mamas, getting your body back to function can be hard work and now with even less time for yourself that hard work can seem overwhelming.

For me, my 1st year postpartum was plagued with knee pain. I was anxious to get my body back and lose the  “extra” pounds of baby weight. I so desperately wanted to feel like myself again. I couldn’t run or do the activities I love. I couldn’t use fitness like I did after my first baby.

Battling fatigue, postpartum blues, the busy-ness that goes along with being the mom of 2 and now ongoing knee pain. I was discouraged with my body.

There was a lot of self-talk trying not to put pressure on myself and trying to reassure myself that my knee pain would improve once I was done breastfeeding. I knew that the hormones coursing through our body while breastfeeding cause more instability in your joints. While this is great for pushing a baby out…it’s not so great when you want to pound the pavement or push yourself in that spin class.  I tell my patients this all the time!

Now it was my time to be tested, to be patient!  I really wanted to get to the year mark breastfeeding my baby but this meant I had to put my personal goals aside until that point.

It is crazy to think that a mere 8 weeks ago (1 month post breastfeeding) my knee was still flaring up from a simple jog across the yard with my son. I was so discouraged and doubts crept in if I would ever run and enjoy the activity I love so much again.  I was starting to doubt that this injury was solely due to the hormones and ligament instability.

Today, exactly 15 months postpartum, I am happy to say that 3 months after breastfeeding, my body finally feels great! I feel great about my body and I have no knee pain. Today a great Post Baby Personal Best under my belt.

I am thankful for the lessons that I learned over the past 15 months. I hope to pass them on to other amazing mamas out there who are eager to get their bodies back!

In a letter to my postpartum self, I would say, “Be patient with your amazing body. It is still doing important things for your baby and your time will come again!”

Some woman bounce back after baby easier than others, but if you’re a mama like me that has some postpartum work to do to address muscle imbalances and for whom breastfeeding may be holding you back from full recovery, I want to tell you:

With some patience, work and perseverance your time will come again. You will be back toeing the line, lacing up or getting back in the game. Whatever your activity or passion may be. You’ll get there! It will be all be worth it and today I can say that my 41 minute 10K (a full 6 minutes off my competitive running days) It means so much to me after the journey to get here and how full my life is today.”