Postpartum exercises first 6 weeks


hello my name is Laurie bata

I'm a pelvic physical therapist and I

work with Nova and health Carolinas

pelvic health center welcome to part 3

of our video series for pregnancy and

exercise if you are watching this video

you are probably preparing for your

postpartum period or your baby is

already here and you're wondering what

to do next in this video we will teach

you how to recover from pregnancy we

will discuss ways to safely exercise and

care for your body after cesarean

delivery as well as discussed in the

first video there are many changes that

your body experiences during pregnancy

some of these changes continue into the

postpartum period this video will

address some ways to deal with the

various changes first of all your

abdominal wall function is very

important during pregnancy your

abdominal wall had to stretch to

accommodate for the baby's growth and

now it has become weakened and over

stretched now that the baby has arrived

the abdominal wall will shrink back to

normal size for the most part if you

have had a cesarean delivery you will

have a scar that has to be cared for to

heal properly we will discuss how to do

this later on in this video the perineum

is your pelvic floor and below your

bottom may have had hair during the

delivery or you may have had to have an

episiotomy after the tearing and dr.

repairs of tissues leaving a scar that

has to heal a muscle with a scar can be

inhibited weakened as a result of the

injury and we will discuss how to care

for your perineum as well in your spine

in your hips they also have to deal with

changes to now that your baby is out in

the world they are going to get heavier

staying in shape to prevent injury as

you lift carry transport your baby is a

key your back and your hips must be

strengthened to carry the baby the car

seat to transfer the baby here and there

and to walk around holding your child

not to mention getting

off the floor can be difficult to the

caesarean scar there are many exercises

to do to strengthen your back and hips

as we will discuss later on in the video

while you're a breastfeeding your body

will continue to release hormones that

cause your ligaments to relax just like

it did when you were in the pregnancy

phase be aware of this and avoid

rigorous stretching to prevent the over

extension of your joints in your pelvic

girdle now let's discuss the benefits of

exercise and postnatal care for you and

your family first of all exercise will

help you lose your baby weight more

quickly you'll have a more positive move

more energy more positive health and

image from all the hormones that are

released during your exercises this will

help reduce the risk of depression and

anxiety now that your world is totally

changed your body will sleep better when

it is not so anxious and will improve

your overall well-being

not to mention targeted exercises to

work your pelvic floor muscles and allow

them to recover reduces the stress

incontinence issues that arise like a

pregnancy before we begin the actual

exercise portion of our video I must

remind you that your body has going to

draw on a tremendous stress to carry and

deliver the baby please give your body a

break and let yourself heal I understand

how hard it is to stop rest and enjoy

time with your baby when they're going

to feel that there's so much to do at

once but it's worth the time to relax

when you can remember it takes time for

your body to shrink back to 5 it took 7

months or so to stretch out so give it

at least six weeks to shrink back down

the last thing you need is an injury

which inhibits you from doing your job

as a mom caring for your sweet baby and

cared for your family do not restart

your prenatal exercise routine where you

left office instead start at the

beginning with these basic exercises the

good news that you can start some basic

core strengthening 48 to 72 hours after

delivery these include the pelvic floor

exercises breathing sizes relaxation

exercises and abdominal isometrics just

like you're giving the first exercise

this is true for both vaginal and

cesarean deliveries so let's start with

the pelvic floor exercises to work the

perineum whether you have a paranoia of

scar not and is safe to perform these

three basic exercises as long as you're

not in pain if you feel pain start

slowly with a few repetitions and build

up as you can

gentle exercise will help the healing

process so for your first set start by

lying down with your knees bent inhale

slowly and as you exhale contract your

pelvic floor and hold it during the

entire exhalation start with three

second holds and build the five seconds

four pieces maneuver up to 30 to 40

repetitions as you're able to tolerate

for the second set stay in the same

position and perform quick and fast

contraction in an on/off pattern you can

do 10 repetitions rest and repeat that

three or four times this will help you

contract the pelvic muscles quickly

before you cough or sneeze which will

prevent a stress incontinence episode

for the third set of pelvic exercises

perform the elevator technique inhale

and as you exhale

perform 3 contractions and levels like

an elevator stopping on three floors go

up up up and then down down down you

want to do this 10 times for we

releasing at the bottom of the


once you feel these are easy you can

perform all three exercises in sitting

and then in standing it's best to find a

convenient time like when you're

breastfeeding the babies so you don't

forget these will help your perineum

heal and recover from the trauma

after you complete pelvic floor

exercises then you can move into the

abdominal exercises first of all you

want to hold your ribcage along the

bottom rim inhale deeply and feel the

ribcage widen

as you exhale blow out all the air

flatten your tummies and guide your rib

cage inverse and downwards with your

hands like this


this will help shrink down your

abdominal wall after the stretching from

the pregnancy you want to practice five

to ten times to build endurance the

third exercise you want to practice is

deep breathing this will help you calm

down and relax after dealing with the

new baby and all the stress that comes

with your life changes now line your

back close your eyes and hold your hands

over your lower abdomen we're going to

inhale and feel your lower belly rise

hold for two or three seconds and then

release all the air passively pause

again before breathing in and repeat for

several minutes until you feel your body

become heavy until your mind relax it

usually takes about ten minutes your

body to calm down after being stressed

so be patient with this exercise you can

do this for the rest of your mummy life

to deal with stress and anxiety you want

to continue the pelvic floor abdominal

and breathing exercises up until the six

weeks follow-up appointment with your

physician if you've had a cesarean

delivery it is safe and effective to

perform the three exercises above

however there are a few extra

precautions to follow so that your scars

feels very well remember you have a

higher risk for abdominal wall and tell

the floor issues as well as chronic pain

if these scars do not heal flexible so

protect your scars at all costs

next I want to show you some movement

retraining ideas that can help reduce

the stress along the scar tissue after

the baby comes it's highly advised to

have someone stay with you after this

major procedure you may need a parent as

well as a husband because everyone will

be tired

have someone help you lift your legs for

the first week if possible they can also

help you get in on the car lift laundry

baskets grocery bags baby carriers you

can keep the stress off your abdomen

they can also help with nighttime

feedings by bringing the baby to you you

can breastfeed while lying in bed you

only have one shot to recover from this

surgery so take it easy for the first

two weeks and don't try to be a

superhero and by doing everything

yourself when you do need to move try

these techniques when you're

transferring use a log rolling technique

keep your torso from twisting and then

sit up using your hands when you're

getting down onto the bed sit down first

and then lie on to your side by your

elbow slowly bend your knees one at a


to support your feet and then log roll

onto your back feel free at any point to

embrace your belly with a pillow during

movement or especially when you cough or

sneeze you may use an abdominal binder

which is a wrap that goes around your

middle to help keep compression along

the abdomen when you're walking around

you can support your abdomen when

bending and moving using your abdominal

wall contractions which we called plug

the baby contractions in earlier videos

this will keep the scar from pulling

apart and help it stay healed when

you're sitting you want to sit in a very

tall posture that keeps the scars from

shrinking too short when you lift the

baby on the crib it's best to have a

step stool next to the crimps to put

your foot up on you

this will help decrease the load across

your abdomen as well

please avoid lifting anything heavier

than the baby for the first 10 days is

recommended and state to perform pelvic

floor exercises breathing and abdominal

contractions as we discussed earlier you

can also start these 2-3 days postpartum

and one way you're not having terrible


it is also acceptable to start massaging

your abdomen 3 to 6 inches away from

your scars to help promote circulation

all these things seem like a lot to do

at the time and effort is worth it in

the end if your scars and your abdomen

heals well