Using Exercise to Recover After Giving Birth

Pregnancy and birth put a lot of strain on your body. In the period immediately following birth, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But there will come a time when exercising works to your advantage, especially if you want to hasten the recovery process.

Exercise after giving birth isn't about losing weight. Instead, the aim is to help strengthen those muscles that supported you as your baby grew. With the assistance of a women's health physiotherapist, you can target specific areas.

Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles really need to step up during pregnancy. First, some of the hormones you produce cause them to soften. Second, as your baby grows, they have to accommodate more weight than ever before. Because of this, you may need to engage in some exercises to strengthen them after you give birth. Kegel exercises involve drawing in your pelvic floor muscles, as though you are trying to stop yourself from urinating. They're safe to do in the first few days following your birth and can reduce your risk of incontinence.

Supporting Your Back Muscles

The muscles in your pelvic floor are supported by surrounding muscle groups, including the ones in your lower back. Because of this, back muscle pain is quite common after giving birth. One of the best ways to address this is to keep an eye on your posture. It's particularly important to make sure you're not slumping while you feed your baby. To speed your recovery up, ask a physiotherapist about gentle exercises that can strengthen your back muscles. Such exercises require little effort, but engaging with them will help a lot with any pain you are feeling.

Promoting Better Sleep

Aside from your baby waking you, there are lots of reasons why you may struggle to sleep after giving birth. Becoming a parent can make your mind busier, which means you may find it difficult to switch off. Your physiotherapist may recommend that you try gentle yoga to make sleep easier. When combined with breathing exercises, yoga is ideal for relaxing and switching off your mind before you go to bed. Your physiotherapist may focus on moves that are also likely to strengthen your back, core, and pelvic floor. When you practice them routinely, you'll enjoy the dual benefit of feeling relaxed and getting stronger.

Overall, engaging in specific exercises makes it easier for you to recover after giving birth. With the guidance of a women's health physiotherapist, you can find the right routine for you.