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Attitudes about running during pregnancy have shifted greatly in recent decades. Today medical experts view an appropriate amount of running as not only safe for mother and baby but also beneficial. However, risks and new challenges remain.

In this episode, physical therapists Bryan Heidersheit and Liz Chumanov discuss their study on the topic. They found that pregnancy alters a woman's running form. And those changes often persist after childbirth. Study participant Stephanie Housh also shares her experience with running while pregnant.

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Learn more about how physical therapy can help runners.

Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD, is co-author of a study examining pregnant women's running biomechanics. He is a professor in the departments of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also is the director of the UW Sports Medicine Center Runners' Clinic, director of sports performance research for UW Athletics, and co-director of the UW Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory. His research aims to understand and enhance the management of orthopedic conditions. His focus is on running-related injuries. National Institutes of Health and NFL Medical Charities have supported Bryan's work.

Liz Chumanov, PT, DPT, PhD, is a co-author of the study on the running biomechanics of pregnant women. She holds a joint appointment as a physical therapist through UW Hospitals Clinic Sports Rehabilitation Department and a research associate with the UW Department of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation. She helps women return to running after childbirth, using ultrasound as biofeedback to help retrain women's deep abdominal muscles. She also is involved in research on the recovery of deep abdominal muscles after childbirth and their effects on running mechanics.

Stephanie Housh is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works with men's and women's soccer, softball, and women's crew. She is an avid athlete and runner. Stephanie took part in the study by Heiderscheit and Chumanov, which looked at how pregnancy can alter running form.

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