Return to Exercise – Postpartum

Did you just have a baby and after your 6-week check get told, you’re fine, without being
looked at. But… you feel different, your body has just gone through one of the biggest
changes it will every go through in your life.

So… you ask what do I do now?

The answer is…
1. Listen to Your Body: 
The first and most crucial step in returning to exercise postpartum is listening to your
body. Every woman’s postpartum journey is unique and individual, so you need to first
and foremost look after yourself. You just grew a baby inside of you for 9 months that’s
no small feat! So what can you do, you ask?

Start with gentle movements, such as walking or light stretching, and pay attention to
any discomfort, pain, or fatigue. It’s normal to experience changes in strength, flexibility,
and endurance after pregnancy, so be patient with yourself and make adjustments

2. See a Women’s Health Physio

You have surgery on your knee or your shoulder and guess what? You get referred to
the physio for rehabilitation.
This should be no different when you have a baby. Your body goes through the most
significant change of your life and you guessed it… it needs rehabilitation.
When you have a vaginal birth your pelvic floor muscles and fascia have to stretch 2.5
times their usual length and sometimes even tear. And when you have a caesarean
delivery they cut through 7 layers of tissue.
Not only your musculoskeletal system changes but your hormones go through significant
changes as well which has a big impact on your tissue!  
It is very important to make sure that your whole system is ready to return to physical
activity and get a graded return to exercise program to ensure a safe return to exercise.
Your pressure system needs to work adequately to provide you with stability and
function…. This does not just return to normal on its own.

3. Rehabilitation is key!

It is so important to have an assessment to see where your body is at and understand
what may not be functioning within your system as it should.
Every woman differs and every pelvic floor is different and requires different guidance.
So what does our rehabilitation focus on?

Reconnecting the pelvic floor to the breath to provide you with your pressure system is
integral. We are the bridge back to strong, functional movements where the pelvic floor
is helping to support you. We understand exactly how your pelvic floor needs to function
within your movements.
But that’s not all. Your muscles change with your hormone changes so it is also so
important to gradually build the strength through the musculoskeletal system to ensure
you are returning to the things you love safely and avoiding any injuries.

4. Gradual Progression: 
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your postpartum fitness journey is no
exception. Gradual progression is key to avoid overexertion and prevent injuries. It is
important to get an individualised return to exercise program based on your pelvic floor
strength, fitness level and other factors.
So… please come and see us to ensure you are getting the rehabilitation you deserve
after having a baby. Remember you are important too and you need to look after
yourself so you can care for your baby.