Breastfeeding Made Me Pull My Hamstring

Marianne Ryan PT
3 min readFeb 10, 2018

Good information on the effects of the breastfeeding hormones for postpartum moms by Caroline Shannon-Karasik.

I clenched my teeth as my physical therapist lifted my right leg, slowly moving it to assess my mobility and pain level. It’s February, but the paper that lines the table is clinging to my sweat-soaked lower back. The pain in my pelvis was excruciating. Through tears, I asked her how this could have happened. I ran until I was 35 weeks pregnant and I never could have imagined that at seven months postpartum, I would still be out of commission.

“Your body is still producing a lot of hormones that are making your ligaments loose which may be causing this issue”.

“You’re still breastfeeding, right?” she asked as I wiped my eyes and nodded. “OK,” she said, her eyes kind. “Your body is still producing a lot of hormones that are making your ligaments loose, which may be causing this issue. Has anyone told you that?”

After I began having intense pelvic pain after my first postpartum run, I spent months searching for answers. No one mentioned that pregnancy hormones meant to ready my body for birth would cause me pain in the postpartum phase — until that moment. I was floored.

“What most women do not realize is that their body is still under the influence of the pregnancy hormones for a good while after childbirth,” says Marianne Ryan, a physical therapist and orthopedic clinical specialist, as well as the author of “Baby Bod: A Groundbreaking Program for Pregnant and Postpartum Women.” “It takes a while for the pregnancy hormones to dissipate, and that is one of the reasons why your body doesn’t “snap back” to “normal” right after birth.

What exactly are those “pregnancy hormones”? While there seems to be some disagreement about which hormones are to blame, most experts point to relaxin, the hormone that is most commonly pegged as the one responsible for readying a woman’s body for pregnancy and birth.

“If a woman is breastfeeding, then hormones will linger for three months after she weans her child”.

Read the full article here Breastfeeding Made Me Pull My Hamstring

MARIANNE RYAN PT, OCS is an award-winning author, physical therapist and board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with more than 30 years’ experience treating prenatal and postpartum women. She is the owner and Clinical Director of Marianne Ryan Physical Therapy in New York City and the creator of the groundbreaking DIY “Baby Bod” program, which is the first of its kind to bridge the gap between medical care and fitness advice. As a leading women’s health expert (and a mom), Marianne is passionate about helping women reclaim their changed bodies, whether they are pregnant, recently took part in the joy of birth or are experiencing the “joy” of menopause. Watch her TEDX video, “What Your Momma Never Told You About Childbirth” at

Originally published at on February 10, 2018.