Postpartum Exercise - Physiotherapy for the pelvic floor, abdominals and back.

I have written quite a few blogs regarding abdominal separation and postpartum health. This blog focuses on specific areas that can be directly affected by pregnancy and postpartum exercises ideas. The entire pregnancy experience requires your body to go through something unlike anything else. You are creating LIFE, and in the process - your body changes immensely to create an environment for your baby/babies. The number one question that I ALWAYS receive when it comes to postpartum health is...

'How can I get rid of my stomach?' Or, 'How can I close the gap in my abs'?

Imagine a balloon being blown up as your 'pregnancy journey' . It expands and expands over time, and after giving birth it begins to shrink down. While your balloon may never return to its original size, you can do several things to help it along the way. To strengthen the body parts that would have been directly impacted by your pregnancy - your pelvic floor, abs and back - you can incorporate some gentle exercises.

PELVIC FLOOR TEST

Try this simple test to determine if your pelvic floor muscles are strengthening. At 6 weeks, jump a few times with a full bladder. Follow this with four star jumps and four strong coughs. If your pants are still try, your pelvic floor muscles are coming along. And if not, continue with your exercises regularly and try again in a few weeks. If you still have issues, please see your doctor for advice.

PELVIC FLOOR

Your pelvic floor muscles run from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis, to the tail bone. A strong pelvic floor ensures:
  • You can control your bladder and bowel functions
  • Support of your internal organs
  • Supporting your baby's weight through pregnancy
It's during childbirth that your pelvic floor muscles are stretched. This can weaken or eve cause damage to them. This can even happen through a Ceasarean birth because your muscles have been supporting the baby's weight

EXERCISES FOR THE PELVIC FLOOR

  1. Tighten your pelvic muscles by squeezing and drawing them up. Try holding this for 3 seconds without squeezing your thighs or bottom. Rest for a few seconds between each set.
  2. Practise quick contractions. This will support you for sudden sneezes. Try 5 quick ones followed by 5 slow ones.
You can perform these exercises daily aiming to do 6 or more sets each day.

ABS

Your abdominals run from the bottom of your rib cage to the top of your pelvis. Not only do they support the internal organs, they control your posture and movements of the trunk. After being stretched throughout pregnancy, it's important to work towards strengthening your abdominal muscles post birth so they can function well.  

EXERCISES FOR THE ABDOMINALS

BACK

EXERCISES FOR THE BACK

Toilet stalls    

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