Women’s Health Spot… Pelvic Floor Recovery Post Pregnancy

Postpartum is an important time to protect, heal and re-strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, as these muscles are key to restoring abdominal and trunk muscle length and function. It is very easy to overlook whilst keeping up with the demands of being a new mother.

 
It’s important to seek treatment post delivery for any:
Urine loss, urgency or loss of bladder sensation
Poor wind or stool control or bowel urgency
Constipation, haemorrhoids or pain with emptying
Pain in pelvic joints, groin, abdomen or back
Infection in scars or tears
Vaginal heaviness, bulging or "falling out" sensation
Excessive bleeding and blood clots
Sexual pain or painful scars
Diastisis rectus (abdominal muscle separation)
 
Follow these tips to help you get started:
 
Posture: Avoid slouched sitting. Stand and walk up tall to help switch on low level endurance in the pelvic floor and core and help abdominal muscles shorten back to their previous firmness.
 
Pelvic Floor Exercises: 
 
 
 

Postpartum is an important time to protect heal and re-strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, as these muscles are key to restoring abdominal and trunk muscle length and function. It is very easy to overlook whilst keeping up with the demands of being a new mother.

 
Its important to seek treatment post delivery for any:
Urine loss, urgency or loss of bladder sensation
Poor wind or stool control or bowel urgency
Constipation, haemorrhoids or pain with emptying
Pain in pelvic joints, groin, abdomen or back
Infection in scars or tears
Vaginal heaviness, bulging or "falling out" sensation
Excessive bleeding and blood clots
Sexual pain or painful scars
Diastisis rectus (abdominal muscle separation)
 
Follow these tips to help you get started:
 
Posture: Avoid slouched sitting. Stand and walk up tall to help switch on low level endurance in the pelvic floor and core and help abdominal muscles shorten back to their previous firmness.
 
Pelvic Floor Exercises: 
Start gently 24 hours after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery as the muscular contractions help to squeeze excess fluid from the muscles and shorten the muscles back to their former position.
Lie on your back with both knees bent to start, breathe out and slowly lift the urethra, vagina and anus. Hold for 5 seconds, relax for 5 seconds before repeating 5 more times. Over the next weeks and months, repeat 10 times, 3 times a day and lift more strongly. 
 
Ice:
Over any perineal swelling or stitches for 5 to 10 minutes, every 2 to 3 hours for 48 hours.
 
Rest:
Lying down to feed your baby is a good time to rest and take the load off your pelvic floor.
 
Keep stools soft:
Eat soluble fibre in fruit, vegetables and whole grains and regularly drink water (especially when breastfeeding). 
Straining to empty the bowel is likely to damage pelvic floor muscles and vaginal supports. Wrap toilet paper around your hand and give support over the vaginal area as the bowel opens (to prevent vaginal strain).
 
Wear a support garment:
This helps to compress the abdomen and internal organs, improve posture and protect your pelvic joints from strain.
 
Lifting: 
Avoid heavy lifting, housework and shopping for 6 weeks to give your muscles and vaginal supports time to heal and strengthen.