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How can I look after my body after birth?

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During pregnancy and birth your body goes through phenomenal changes to grow your baby and bring it into the world. Following the birth of your baby it’s so easy to be completely focused on them, and everything that they need…..that you lose focus of how to help yourself recover.

Here’s a little bit of information that I hope is useful and helps your recovery...

Abdominal Separation

Abdominal Separation, officially known as Diastasis Recti occurs when the connective tissue that your abdominals attach to gets stretched during pregnancy, leaving you with a gap between your abdominals, and is a natural occurrence affecting the majority of women.

The abdominals play a huge role in the body and if abdominal separation is not addressed then the weakness can lead to a whole host of issues including back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, bladder leakage and even pelvic organ prolapse.

Seek advice from a physio with a special interest in Women’s Health as soon as you feel able after birth to get an accurate assessment and up to date advice and specific exercises that you can be doing to help close your abdominal separation. We are all individual and all need individually tailored exercise programs.

The sooner you start the correct exercise program, the better the chance of an optimal outcome.

Pelvic Floor Activation

Pregnancy and birth can cause weakness and injury to the pelvic floor.

Gentle contractions of the pelvic floor after birth are thought to help promote circulation and healing.

You can start doing gentle pelvic floor 'squeeze and lift' as soon as you feel able. A general guideline is:

10 gentle 'squeeze and lift' each time you are feeding baby, holding for the number of seconds your baby is in weeks i.e. week 1, 10x 1 seconds when feeding; week 2, 10 x 2 seconds when feeding etc

6 Week Check

At approximately 6-8 weeks, we recommend that you have a full post natal assessment to determine whether your pregnancy and birth have had any effect on your pelvic floor. From this assessment we can recommend individual exercise plans to address any issues or symptoms, can optimise your recovery and safely guide you back to exercise.

Activate Physio for Women provides this information on the understanding that all individuals accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, please seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest hospital Emergency Department.