5 Tips to Heal Your Post-Partum Body - Legacy Physical Therapy

5 Tips to Heal Your Post-Partum Body

Here are our 5 favorite tips on how to heal your postpartum body regardless of vaginal or Cesarean delivery. 

Before we start talking about how to restore strength and get back into activity, be sure you have clearance from your doctor. If you’ve been put on any precautions,  listen to your physician. 

Tip #1:
Give your body time to rest and heal. Our society is so focused on getting our bodies back to pre-pregnancy state that women sometimes pressure themselves to not give themselves the rest they need. During the birth process, your tissues went under a lot of strain and stress, physicians typically recommend limited activity for the first 6-8 weeks. Time is definitely what you need to be giving your body in these early stages postpartum.

Tip #2:
Eat nourishing foods and get adequate hydration. If you are nearing the later stages of pregnancy, start preparing a freezer full of healthy meals, ready to go and heated up in a crockpot or oven. Take the meal train help and let other people cook for you. Make sure your meals Include a lot of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to ensure you are getting enough nutrients your body needs, especially if you are breastfeeding. 

Be sure to drink a lot of water. Your body has lost a lot of fluid in the delivery process. It’s really important to get adequate hydration and WATER is the best way to do that, especially if you’re breastfeeding, you will need more water.

Tip #3:
Prioritize sleep. As a new mom or a mom with multiples, you will have broken and disruptive sleep. Sleep when you can because caring for a baby and then carrying for multiple children requires a lot of energy.

Tip #4:
Making restoring your core and pelvic floor a priority. While in the early weeks, this is not a priority, these are things you need to start focusing on to support your body prior to jumping into any type of exercising. 

1. Start with breathing, incorporate deep breathing into your day while nursing or rocking your baby to sleep. 

2. Taking it a step further, start reconnecting your brain to your core via deep breathing. Take a deep belly breath by expanding your ribcage and abdomen out as you breathe in and gently let everything fall as you exhale.

3. Then, start incorporating some pelvic floor activation, aka a “kegel”. Contract the muscles around the vagina and anus, as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or gas, hold for a few seconds and release. Only do this step, if your pelvic floor has been cleared by your doctor. 

4. Once you feel ready, start to wake up the deeper abdominal muscles. To engage these muscles start with a deep breath, as you exhale, gently draw in the lowest part of your abdomen. Make sure you are not bulging these muscles outward or holding your breath. It can be especially hard to “find” the deep abdominal muscles post-partum, if you are struggling to engage these muscles, parter with a pelvic health physical therapist for guidance. 

5. Put it all together and get moving! General movement such as walking is already great. Try yoga, stretching and always focus on breathing! Move your body when you feel good, and ready to move your body. 

Tip #5:
Do not ignore pain. While pain during pregnancy and postpartum recovery can be common, it doesn’t mean it is normal, and should not be something you have to deal with. If your pain is not improving, it’s time to talk to your doctor and seek pelvic physical therapy as soon as possible because. The demands on your body are just increasing as your baby grows; don’t ignore pain. 

Bonus Tip #6:
If you have any lingering bladder & bowel issues or concerns about your abdominal wall, don’t ignore your symptoms. If you are experiencing bladder or bowel leakage, constipation, pelvic pain or pain with intercourse, or diastasis recti, bring those concerns to your doctor at your follow up visit and start getting treatment. 

If you’re noticing these issues early postpartum and they are not going away, you don’t have to wait until 6 weeks to start getting treatment. There are things a pelvic floor physical therapist can do, prior to the 6 week point. Seek treatment as soon as possible, to prevent long term problems.

Here at Legacy Physical therapy, we always recommend undergoing a post-partum check, even if you don’t have pain, bladder or bowel issues and you feel like you’re recovering well. This can screen for any potential problems from arising in the future.  We offer free postpartum screens here where we discuss your postpartum concerns and how therapy may or may not be beneficial for you, just click below to sign up!

AUTHOR

Brooke Kalisiak

Legacy Physical Therapy

"We help women who are tired of leaking, dealing with pelvic pain, and wanting to get their body back in shape after baby (even if it’s been 30 years) all without relying on medications or surgery."
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