Reframing Return-to-Sport Postpartum: The 6 Rs Framework
Welcome to the patient information leaflet about returning to sports after having a baby.
This leaflet is based on the “Reframing Return-to-Sport Postpartum: The 6 Rs Framework” paper, which provides guidance for athletes and healthcare providers on safely resuming sports activities after childbirth.
The Need for Change
Female athletes are now participating in sports more than ever, and this leaflet addresses the unique challenges they face during and after pregnancy. Despite the increasing number of female athletes, there’s still a lack of research and guidelines to support them, particularly during the transition into motherhood.
During pregnancy and after childbirth, a woman’s body undergoes significant changes. Some specific factors that can affect a female athlete’s ability to return to sports include pelvic floor health, breast health, energy balance, psychological well-being, and more. These factors are often overlooked in traditional return-to-sport frameworks.
The 6 Rs Framework
A Phased Approach: The “6 Rs Framework” helps athletes and healthcare teams prepare, return, and optimize performance postpartum. This framework encourages a holistic approach to evaluation and focuses on the safety of both the mother and baby. It involves six phases:
- Ready: Preparing the athlete during pregnancy.
- Review: Evaluating the postpartum athlete.
- Restore: Restoring physical and psychological well-being.
- Recondition: Reconditioning the athlete for sports.
- Return: Gradually returning to competitive sports.
- Refine: Continuously improving strategies for optimal performance.
The 6 Rs Framework is a proactive approach to the perinatal athlete, focusing on individualized considerations and safety. It aims to support female athletes during and after pregnancy, ensuring they can enjoy successful and long-lasting sporting careers.
For more information and guidance on each phase of the 6 Rs Framework, please refer to the original paper or consult the team at The Active Women’s Clinic
Authors: Gráinne M Donnelly, Emma Brockwell, Isabel S Moore, Alan Rankin, Rosalyn Cooke
Disclaimer: This patient information leaflet is based on the paper titled “Reframing Return-to-Sport Postpartum: The 6 Rs Framework,” published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding your return to sports after childbirth.