Pregnancy and postpartum take a tremendous toll on the body, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Recovery is essential to healing well.
Here are our top 10 Postpartum Recovery Tips:
1. Take the first two weeks off
You nourished, grew, and birthed a human… FREAKING AMAZING!!! You deserve a gold medal for that event! You need to sleep, to eat, and to rest. After the 2 weeks of zombie life, we want you to slowly come back and start moving with intention.
2. Start with breath
What is the one thing we do all day every day? Breathe. Guess what, your pelvic floor and diaphragm work together during proper breathing. During pregnancy, the ribs flare and we take shorter breaths due to the baby taking up so much space. Re-establishing the connection with your pelvic floor and diaphragm includes getting your rib cage to come back down to its normal resting place. Be intentional and focus on 360 degree breathing patterns. Don’t know how to breathe 360 degrees? Watch our Livv Adore Your Pelvic Floor Workshop: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/26/w1kl7io4
3. Work on your mind and body connection
Can you feel your ribs moving? Can you contract your glutes? Can you separate out your glutes individually? Can you feel your core contract deep when you exhale from low to high? Get familiar with what it feels like when you activate each muscle.
4. Listen to your body
Your body will let you know if you are “overdoing it.” If you feel any pressure or heaviness in your pelvic floor/perineum area that means you did too much. Increased bleeding is another sign of doing too much.
5. Take it slow and controlled
Start with small things, like walking around the block, or practicing the transition from sitting to standing with good body mechanics. Posture and proper body mechanics performed slowly and intentionally is key! Start with some of the basics, bridges, bird/dogs, etc before progressing to jumping and running.
6. It’s hard work, give yourself grace
One of the most awe-inspiring musculoskeletal transformations that our bodies go through is growing and birthing a human being. A lot, and I mean a LOT of changes happen during this time frame. It is mentally, emotionally, and physically demanding. Take recovery one day at a time. Keep your expectations high, but flexible. You can do hard things. Sometimes it just isn’t a straight line start to finish and sometimes it takes longer than you want. Make the commitment to put in the work, build a solid foundation postpartum, and you will be a force to be reckoned with!
7. Don’t do excessive amounts of kegels (ignore your doctors prescription to “do kegels”)
There is a reason we say this from a rehab perspective. If you just had surgery on your knee, you would not do max squats right away. That would be too much too fast. Same goes for your pelvic floor, doing a “kegel” is a max contraction of the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor needs to contract and relax and often just working on breathing with movement can help get that coordinated and regulated again. If you just start doing a bunch of kegels you could create problems that were not there to begin with!
8. Your pelvic floor, glutes and core are your weakest links
Although your body and mind may feel ready to return to the gym or go for a jog, your pelvic floor, glutes and core need to be strengthened and rehabbed. You are far better off to focus on proper breath control, glute activation and core stability to improve your overall function and to create a solid base and foundation to build upon. As the core, glutes and pelvic floor return to normal function, you can then progress your workouts and continue to build upon your base. This approach will significantly decrease your risk of injury and setbacks during your recovery.
9. Find a local pelvic floor therapist
Are you wanting to set a solid foundation, build strategically, and progress appropriately? Pelvic rehab is where you belong! Our unique skill set will help you live your life to the fullest and return to activities you love and enjoy without bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction as well as other orthopedic issues. Let’s join together as a team to get you where you want to go. And let’s prevent issues from arising in the future as well!
10 Take this screening tool:
Take this pelvic floor screening protocol to find out if you would benefit from pelvic floor therapy: https://rebornphw.com/cozean-pelvic-dysfunction-screening-protocol
Do you have pelvic floor dysfunction? Let our expert pelvic health physical therapist start your journey off on the right foot! We are here to help.