postnatal fitnessSo, you’ve had your baby…congratulations! While you’ll want to give your baby lots of attention, it is important to look after yourself too. Lara Maddison, a specialist physiotherapist in Women’s Health at The Forge Clinic, has put together a safe and effective guide to help aid your recovery after childbirth. Lara is an expert at working with new mothers, so follow her advice to boost your wellbeing and get back into shape again.

Our postnatal guide (internal link) gives you all kinds of practical tips from pain relief and back care to pelvic floor exercises and sex advice.

After giving birth it is especially important to strengthen your pelvic floor with the exercise outlined below. You may still have stitches or bruising to the pelvic floor area, but don’t let this stop you from doing the exercises. They will help prevent incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse as well aid healing.

How to exercise your pelvic floor

You should practise this exercise in two ways – as a slow contraction and a fast contraction. Do your pelvic floor exercises three times a day, standing, sitting or lying down.

  • Before you start, imagine a zip running between your legs from the back to the front. Breathe in to prepare and as you exhale firmly close your back passage as if you are stopping yourself from passing wind.
  • Draw that same contraction forwards and upwards as if you are doing up a zip between your legs and trying to stop the flow of urine.
  • Once you feel the pelvic floor muscles lift, hold onto this contraction, BREATHE and count to a maximum of 10 seconds. Release very slowly, the rest for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.

To practise this exercise as a series of fast contractions and releases:

  • Lift and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for one second, release and rest for one second. Repeat 10 times.

Expert help for new mothers

The Forge Clinic in Richmond offers a range of Women’s Health services to help you recover fully and feel fit and healthy after your baby is born. If you would like more information or advice, please call us on 020 8332 6184 or email us at info@theforgeclinic.com.

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health (ACPWH) has produced a guide to help you recover after childbirth, which is available on their website. You can download ‘Fit for the Future’ here.