31 October 2014

Postnatal rehabilitation

By Laura Tilson BA (Hons) M.Ost DPO
Registered and Paediatric Osteopath at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy

Here are my top tips for rehabilitation after having a baby:

  1. Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 6 weeks: you may have bruised and inflamed tissues that need to heal.
  2. Don't compare yourself to others: your pregnancy and birth will leave a unique footprint on you and your body. If something doesn't feel right, chances are it isn't. If something hurts, sit back and attempt the exercise again when you are stronger in a week or two.
  3. Walking is great: the movement of walking mobilises your pelvis, hips and lumbar spine to help with healing. Try doing pelvic floor exercises and avoid leaning over your buggy as you walk.
  4. Pelvic stability is key: all exercise should be conducted with a strong and stable pelvis and lumbar spine. This should be the first thing you address.
  5. Have faith in your body's ability to heal and strengthen.
  6. Look after your pelvic floor: especially when introducing running. If you have any incontinence issues or feel your pelvic floor isn't quite right do pelvic floor exercises and tell your GP.
  7. Give yourself time: it can take a year for your pregnancy hormones to settle and ligaments to tighten again. Give yourself a target of a year to get back to your old self physically.
  8. Consult experts: look for people who are specifically trained in post-natal care. Before you exercise talk to them about any concerns and make sure they check for abdominal separation (rectus diastasis).


For appointments with Laura at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy, call 020 8789 3881 or email us as info@putneyclinic.co.uk.

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