In this blog I’m going to discuss appropriate exercises that can be applied to your daily life, after giving birth. Also, as mentioned before in prenatal exercise part 1. (link blog here), it’s mandatory that you have permission from your primary care provider to begin any form of exercise.
Weeks (0-6) After birth:
This is an interesting time for you, having just given birth, and getting familiar with your baby, your body, your mind, and time. You are most likely experiencing less sleep than you’re used to as you adapt to your baby’s feeding needs, are recovering physically from birth whether vaginal or c-section, and learning to face mental stressors.
As long as you have clearance from your primary care provider, and feel up for exercise, there are a few activities we can do now. Keep in mind that during this time the top priority is your recovery and we will be weaning into exercise slowly so your tissue can have time to heal. If you have any symptoms of pain, incontinence, excessive bleeding that do not go away in weeks after birth, please contact your primary care provider.
In this blog I’m going to share with you how to breathe to relax and access and strengthen deep abdominal muscles, stretch and mobilize your neck, shoulders, and pelvis, begin walking again and do it so you don’t get hurt or slow down your recovery time, and break down posture alignment, also good for walking, and everyday life.
Priorities during the first six weeks postpartum are (1)
In the first few weeks some people experience incontinence and pelvic floor weakness, this is normal, and this should improve from week to week. If it does not improve and there is a painful sensation within the pelvic floor area after the six week mark, you should reach out to your primary care provider and seek out a pelvic floor physiotherapist if you don’t already have one.
Goals of exercise in this period are (2)
Pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation looks like this:
It helps to remember “exhale on effort”. This will come in hand when we do resistance strength training too.
Mobility and stretching help relieve tension in the neck, chest, and lower back. A few simple stretches you can do lying on your back are:
Regular breathing techniques are also a helpful way to ease the mind and regain body awareness. This breathing technique also helps access deeper muscular activation of the transverse abdominis. If you’re recovering from a c-section ensure you’re not breathing too deeply into your lower stomach. This way you’re not over stretching the healing incision.
Once you have the hang of both pelvic floor clock breath and above breathing technique, blend the two together.
Walking post birth can be a new challenge. It can also be something that you’re excited and anxious to get back into. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you need to take it slow. My suggestion is to start with a 10 minute walk. And work up to two short walks (10-15 minutes) twice a day. Continue to check in with yourself and see how you feel after the walk and the next day too. You can work your way up to one long walk once you feel you’re ready, without any symptoms, and as time allows. You may also be pushing the baby stroller or carrying the baby on your body in a wrap, so consider the added weight, and challenge your posture.
In general we’re seeking posture alignment that is optimal for function. There’s no perfect posture, however there are patterns that allow for better muscle activation which will help you feel stronger. Here’s what we are looking for when it comes to posture:
You’ve got this. And you’ve just given birth to a human so give yourself some serious credit. Be patient in your recovery and reflection. Recovery looks different for each person and so do your needs, schedule, and desires.
If you have questions and are seeking further resources please contact Brie at email@example.com