For those of you approaching your due dates, I thought it would be fitting to get you prepared for post-delivery.
During pregnancy, the body goes through so much stretching and contorting. To correct the muscles, get them back to normal, and give you a small waistline again, there are some very small key exercises that you can get started as early as forty-eight hours after you deliver your baby.
Luckily these exercises require very little time (you can literally do them when you’re changing a diaper!) and have a huge payoff.
As embarrassing as it is, incontinence (urine leakage when you cough, bend or sneeze) is a reality that a lot of women face post-delivery. The problem is that most women don’t realize that it CAN be treated and prevented. And pelvic floor strengthening exercises are the best place to start.
Two key exercises that I recommend women start doing very soon after deliveries are the Pelvic Kegel Tilt and Zipping Your Pants. See the end of this article for detailed instructions.
I do want to mention that most of us tend to concentrate on the aesthetic recovery from pregnancy (hello flabby abs!), but I cannot encourage enough the importance of strengthening your internal muscles—the one’s that were stretched to the max during pregnancy. Strengthening your CORE after childbirth will not only help you prevent lower back problems and incontinence, but it will help you look taller and thinner instantly because it will teach you to engage your Internal Corset and Girdle muscles (can’t pass that up, right?).
Two Key Exercises:
(And remember, just as you did with pregnancy, please check with your health care provider before you begin any type of exercise routine after delivery, especially after a c-section).
1. Pelvic Kegel Tilt: this exercise may seem easy, but don’t be fooled, these little movements play a critical role in the re-conditioning of the pelvic floor.
This exercise can be done standing or seated (or try my favorite, sitting on top of the body ball). Just squeeze your pelvic floor muscles like you’re holding your urine flow, tilt your pelvis forward, hold, and slowly release (your lower back should be rounded). Repeat twelve to fifteen times.
(Note: The movement should be really small and controlled).
2. Zipping Your Pants: this exercise tones and strengthens your transverse abdominal muscles—the ones that give you a flat stomach and relieve lower back pain.
Pull your tummy in as if you’re doing up a very tight pair of jeans. These are your deep abdominal muscles working. Contract and hold for five seconds. Repeat fifteen times.
(Note: You can begin to do this exercise immediately after a vaginal delivery, but you’ll need to wait one to two weeks if you’ve had a C-section.)
Originally published on Pregnancy Without Pounds