No matter how you deliver your baby, whether vaginally or by caesarean section, women’s bodies are significantly weakened due to the pregnancy and also the forces during delivery applied to the core muscles.
At six weeks the GP checks that you are feeling ok, and that your scars are healing, but are you really ready for exercise?
Cathy is trained in checking the strength of your core muscles and whether those muscles have recovered well or whether there is some weakness due to c-sections or separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). It is very important to check these muscles before returning to exercise.
The pelvic floor is also extremely important in maintaining core strength and stability. It is also important in bowel and bladder function. During pregnancy pressures on the pelvic floor can fatigue the muscles, even if you are practicing your pelvic floor exercises. Also any level of vaginal delivery, even those that don’t progress, may have some impact on the pelvic floor. Many women have episiotomies or tears that weaken the pelvic floor further.
Cathy can assess the tone of your pelvic floor and by checking whether you are switching on the right parts of the pelvic floor when you exercise.
Gentle core and pelvic floor exercises can be performed in the first six weeks post-partum, however seek professional advice to make sure you are doing the exercises properly.
After six weeks, and after your post-partum check, it is safe and recommended to go back to exercise, so long as it is post-partum focused. And exercises with impact or neck flexion should still be avoided.
Breast feeding women need to be careful of over-stretching their joints and need to be aware of their body positioning when exercising.