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Physiotherapy And Exercises After Childbirth

Most new mothers often find that they need the help of a specialist or a physiotherapy clinic to help their body recover after pregnancy and childbirth.

After childbirth, you need to take extra care of your body. In addition to the stretched pelvic floor muscles, your pregnancy hormones also soften your stomach and ligaments, making it easy to injure yourself during the first several months. Especially if your joints don’t have the necessary support.

If you were following an exercise routine while pregnant to strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, you should continue with those exercises even after delivery. If you had a normal vaginal birth, you can get started after 48 hours of rest. But if you had a Cesarean birth, you should wait for a fully recovery before doing any exercises.

Here are some simple exercises to consider post-delivery:

Exercises for your Abdominal Muscles

If your doctor allows it, you should do abdominal exercises for at least 6 weeks post-delivery to boost abdominal strength and restore your pre-pregnancy shape. Avoid sit ups for the first two months after childbirth. Instead, perform:

Pelvic tilts as follows:

  • Sit, stand, or lie down with your knees bent and feet flat
  • Gently tilt your pelvis backwards until the curve of your lower back is flat
  • Hold the position for 3-5 seconds and then repeat 5 to 10 times

Or abdominal bracing as follows:

  • Sit, stand, or lie down
  • Gently draw in your belly button – towards the spine
  • Hold that position for 5 – 10 seconds and repeat 5 – 10 times

Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor refers to the group of muscles supporting your pelvis. They are responsible for maintaining control of your bladder and bowel movement, as well as sexual function. However, pregnancy and delivery tend to weaken these muscles, leading to problems such as leaking urine.

To strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, simply:

  • Squeeze those muscles around the front and back passages
  • Lift the muscles up and inwards
  • Repeat 10 times at 5 second intervals, gradually increasing the duration of the squeezes

You can do the exercise anytime, anywhere, and any number of times.

Back Exercises

After childbirth, you are still at risk of back injury due to repeatedly bending and lifting when caring for your newborn. To prevent backache and injury:

  • Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first 4 to 6 weeks
  • Keep good posture
  • Use chairs with proper back support
  • Avoid holding your baby on one hip

Other Healthy Habits After Pregnancy

  • Drink plenty of water and only urinate when you feel full
  • Eat foods rich in fibre to avoid straining and constipation
  • Exercise every day

Lastly, if you feel any pain this will not seem to subside, despite your efforts, it is important that you stop that activity and visit your physiotherapy clinic for professional advice.

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