Worried about your pelvic floor and heard about prolapse?
Don’t let leakage or embarrassment stop you from starting exercise!
Some basic rules I would advise you to follow when getting back into exercise post birth are:
Learn what your pelvic floor is, and if you are not sure if you are using it correctly, have it checked by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
If you feel your pelvic floor push down with activity, such as picking up your baby or coughing, then it is not engaging correctly and needs to be activated before these activities.
Poor pelvic floor strength leaves you at risk of bladder, vaginal or bowel prolapse, which is more common in the first 3-4 months post birth. If you feel a bulge where you didn’t before having your baby, don’t panic but get it checked out, so you can ensure it only improves and doesn’t get worse.
Start exercising your pelvic floor muscles straight after the birth of your child, perhaps when feeding.
Exercising the pelvic floor just in sitting or lying will not fully strengthen the muscles. Progress to standing exercises then walking, then squatting and finally whilst lifting a weight or your baby. Physio-led Postnatal Pilates is a great way to progress if you are having difficulties or not sure what you are doing!
Provided you are not leaking with lifting or squatting, and you can contract your pelvic floor muscle whist doing these activities, it is time to move on to more agile activities such as running and jumping if these are what you are keen to do!
Be patient, this may not happen over night, but work hard in the first 6 weeks to get your pelvic floor working and you should be good to get back to the gym in no time.
Bonnie is our specialist Women’s Health Physio’s. Book in to see Bonnie if you are having difficulty getting back into exercise after baby.