Post Natal Exercises
After two to three weeks following the birth of your baby you could follow these three steps to recover after childbirth:
- Rest: It is especially important to rest after the birth of your baby to minimize discomfort and relieve the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles from weight. Lie down for 30 minutes, twice a day.
- Use ice: If you gave birth or tried to give birth naturally, the use of ice or a clean panty, notched with cold water placed in the refrigerator, will help reduce swelling and pain in your perineum. Try to do so in the first 72 hours after giving birth to facilitate your recovery.
- Exercise: Pelvic floor and abdomen muscles exercises will help you regain your form and restore the skin around stitches. Provided you are not in pain, you can start these exercises one or two days after the birth of your baby.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises: The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form the base of the pelvis. It consists of a group of muscles from the pubic bone, the front of your abdomen, to the coccyx in the lower part of the spine. The pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, vagina, and urethra. The pelvic floor helps: to tighten the vagina and close the urethra and anus to avoid leakage of urine, faeces or gases, to support the pelvic organs and abdominal contents, but also to allow sexual intercourse. Your pelvic floor is under pressure during pregnancy, carrying the extra weight of your baby and being affected by hormones. During childbirth, the pelvic muscles suffer from large disruptive forces. Pelvic floor exercises will help prevent atony, maintain muscle tone, and improve muscle control.
Pelvic floor exercise 1: This exercise will help strengthen the muscle.
- Tighten the muscles around your anus, vagina, and front of your perineum, such as if you were trying to stop the gases and urine at the same time.
- Keep this contraction for as long as you can.
- Rest for 4 seconds and then repeat the contraction as many times as you can. Repeat for 10 seconds and repeat for 10 times.
Pelvic floor exercise 2:
- It is important to be able to practice the pelvic floor muscles quickly so that they can react to sudden events such as coughing, laughing, or exercising (which add pressure to the bladder).
- Tighten the pelvic floor and hold for a second before loosening the muscles.
- Repeat, tightening and loosening firmly for as many times as you can, up to a maximum of 10 times. Try to tighten the muscles vigorously in each contraction.
- Try to do a series of slow contractions (exercise 1) and then a series of quick conjunctions (exercise 2) at least 3 times a day.
- Practice when you are lying, seated, and standing. Continue to practice the muscles of your pelvic floor for the rest of your life.
Caution: Do not stop and re-enter urine flow into the toilet. This is not a safe exercise.