3 Early Stages of Postnatal Recovery

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If you’ve had a baby, like most new mums, you’ll be wanting to ask us the following:

  1. Has my pelvic floor been damaged? How strong/weak is it? And can I get it back to normal?
  2. Will my tear be a problem> and what can I do about it?
  3. How long until I can return to exercise? And how can I do this safely?
  4. Do I have a tummy separation? And what can I do about it?

Other questions may also include things such as how to help back pain from breastfeeding, how to fix mastitis, what is a prolapse and how to help wrist pain from holding bubs head.

Whilst it has taken many years of many people jumping up and down – postnatal care of mums has gradually been improving in Australia over the past few years.

Childbirth is life-changing – in more ways than one. Suddenly a little human to care for and no time for yourself. But childbirth is a major event in itself – whether you’ve had a caesarian or a vaginal birth – both will have caused damage and will need the appropriate rest, recovery and rehab to ensure you get your body back on track. After all – we only get one body.

It’s common to attend a 6-week check after you have a baby with your doctor – ensuring medically if you are ok and that your baby is beginning to thrive.

However, a 6-week check with a Physio takes in a different point of view. We look at you – and ensure you get back to the best you can be.

Our postnatal physio program helps address your key questions, as well as dealing with any trauma experienced during the birthing process.

Our postnatal recovery program is generally broken up into the following phases:

0-6 weeks:

We suggest focusing on some gentle pelvic floor strengthening (it’s NEVER too early to start!) and some body weight strengthening exercises to begin the journey of getting your body back to where it needs to be.

We talk about what you need to do to return to the exercise you’d like to be doing in a few months time. We can give you the exact targets you need to pass to get back to doing what you love in a safe and effective way.

6-12 weeks:

  • Pelvic floor strengthening – this is a key time to make the most progress towards getting your pelvic floor into shape. Over this time we help prepare your pelvic floor to get back to exercise and life.
  • Abdominal separation and control: we concentrate on reducing your separation and also showing you how to control your body when it’s not 100%. It’s normal for this separation to not close 100% and so learning how to use the layers of abdominal muscles properly is key.
  • Strengthening and conditioning: we show you which low-impact exercises address the key areas in your body that have weakened whilst pregnant. Generally, your legs, glutes, calves and tummy – all the areas that will, in time, prevent you from getting back to your pre-pregnancy exercise levels

12 weeks +

If all has gone to plan this is the time to do what we call an “impact screen”. This takes your pelvic floor through a series of tests that mimic certain activities and exercise to ensure it can cope with your daily tasks and the exercise you would like to return to. This ensures your pelvic floor is able to cope and won’t be damaged further. It won’t be 100% yet – but it needs to be at a certain level to withstand activities such as running, jumping or lifting heavy weights.

All going well, it’s time to fine-tune your exercises to get your pelvic floor back to normal, your tummy functioning well and your body strong and fit.

This is often the time we help you to add in some high-impact exercise such as running if you’ve passed all the tests!

This 12-week period post-birth is an incredibly important one to focus on your body. This time does not come again and time well spent now can save the many problems that often turn up years later. Words such as incontinence and prolapse may seem foreign now but in 10 years time, you’ll be thankful you did the best for your body when you could.

Call our team to find out the best time to book in for you. Call us 99683424.

Or go ahead and book an appointment online now, CLICK HERE to book in with one of our amazing Women’s Health Physios.


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