Postnatal Exercise

Generally, you can start gentle exercise such as walking, and pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel able to, although it is recommended that you wait for a couple of days before starting pelvic floor exercises, and do not do too much strenuous exercise before your postnatal health check.  Some exercises can be started immediately, such as:

 

  • Deep breathing exercises - good for circulation and relaxation
  • Leg, foot and ankle exercises - good for circulation but no straight leg raises!
  • pelvic floor exercises - good for pain relief and wound healing as well as strengthening

You should strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and your deep abdominal muscle (transversus abdominis) before starting classic sit ups.  This is to avoid straining your back as a result of working too hard when your muscles are still weak.

Exercise such as running and aerobics can put a strain on your pelvic floor muscles, so make sure that these muscles have fully recovered and strengthened before starting these high impact exercises.

If you have had a cesarean section you should be able to perform pelvic floor exercises and take some gentle walks, but you should refrain from strenuous exercise and lifting until you have recovered from your surgery.  This is usually around the 6 week mark but can differ for individuals.  You will then need to take things slowly and progress gradually.

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