Updated: Jan 14
There is a lot of misinformation out there about early Postpartum body care. Starting with when should we start the recovery process. Let's dig in!
It should be well understood that you should give yourself grace during this period! Being a new mom comes with a lot of challenges mentally and physically. You are typically aching and tired and your body needs to recover. This is such a special time to connect with your baby but it is important to prioritize your body as well.
Below I have provided 4 tips I suggest in the early stages of Post Pregnancy.
#1 Mobility: Well Supportive Surface
Your body just carried this extra weight for the last 9 months so your body will have some unwanted adaptations. Your upper back has become slightly kyphotic with rounded shoulders, lumbar spine is tonically tight along with restricted hip flexors. This can cause discomfort throughout the body and caused your once neutral spine to become less neutral overall. This can be one of the contributing factors to incontinence. Here are some mobility exercises we suggest for the restricted areas we discussed.
Thoracic Mobility: Open Books
Lumbar Spine: Standing Lumbar Extension
Hip Mobility: Standing or Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
#2 Pelvic Floor: Begin Reconnecting
Pregnancy is very demanding on the body, especially on the pelvic floor and surrounding core. At a neurological level, the nerves to these regions have changed and therefore are not working optimally. I like to think of it as a light switch that has been turned off.
To fix that, we need to start reconnecting the motor units to the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor activates more efficiently when we diagphramatically breath. So this is the first step. Think belly breathing not chest breathing. This is any easy way early on in the process to start the reconnection.
Along with dealing with body pain, this is the first phase we address in our Pregnancy Program to help moms get back to their pre-pregnancy routine and exercise.
#3 Healing: Postpartum Pain & Wound Healing
If you had a perineal tear or cesarean wound healing is important. I would suggest using a peri bottle to clean the perineal area and pat dry and use the perineal spray to soothe the area. If you are having swelling, ice packs can help. This kit does the trick and great to give as a present to your friends that are pregnant! Most people when they are pregnant don't think about the after care.
#4 Rest: Allow Your Body to Recover!
This seems obvious but sometimes can be difficult, especially if you have other kids. Try to stay off your feet and allow your body to recover, especially that first week. After that, think about getting up more frequently but for shorter bouts of time to start a more active recovery. Listen to your body, doing too much in the early stages can prolong the recovery. Not doing any movement for weeks can also prolong the recovery! Give your body grace but start to get up moving around the house more frequently after that initial week.
Most importantly, enjoy this time with your little one. Pregnancy is such a magical thing and sadly they are only this small for so long so get your cuddles in! You can slowly start to incorporate the recovery process and start making you and your body a priority.
Pregnancy is challenging on the body and we believe every mom should get Personalized One-on-One rehab. See how our Pregnancy Program can help.