The first weeks postpartum are the A to Z of emotions and adjustment. Sitz baths, breastfeeding successes and challenges, and the slow, yet fast, moving days are all part of managing your baby’s acclimation into the world.
Here’s your gentle reminder that YOU too are recovering. Birth takes a major toll on your body!
Though your pelvic floor and uterus are made to return to normal size in recovery, your body will never truly be the same. Many moms report nagging symptoms like incontinence, lower back pain, soreness in joints, and constipation just to name a few.
That’s why I give my new mom patients PT “homework”. This includes low-impact, gentle, and nurturing moves that can assist in your recovery and manage pain. Light physical therapy is perfect for satisfying symptoms allowing you to sleep better, increase your energy, and ensure you can care for your new baby in the most comfortable way possible.
Six safe low-impact moves to recover gently 2-4 weeks postpartum:
1. Pelvic Floor contractions: Think inward and upward! As you stand or lay with knees bent, contract your pelvic floor moving upward. It helps to take inhales as you squeeze and engage, and exhales as you fully relax.
2. Glute Squeezes: With a slight tilt of your spine to its natural curve and allowing knees to bend ever-so-slightly, engage your glutes inward for a squeeze. You will the activation through your heels and quads.
3. Pillow Squeezes: I am certain you have aches and sensitivity around your pelvis, and lower back, so take this gently. While laying on your side, place a large pillow between your legs. Squeeze the pillow with your inner thighs and then relax. This will lightly restore strength to your pelvic floor.
4. Ankle Pumps: Another move you can do sitting or laying to generate ample blood flow and relieve soreness. Activate your feet by pulling toes toward you, and then, point them away in ballerina fashion. Feel this yummy stretch through your calf as you point forward and back.
5. Gentle Pelvic Rocks: Standing with your shoulders drawn away from your ears and glutes active (meaning you aren’t concaving your spine, but keeping it straight) place your hands on your hips. Slightly use your hands to guide your pelvis to rock gently forward (to a straight spine) and back to get a slight curve. This is a massage for your spine, lower back, abdomen, and pelvic floor.
6. Breathwork: Now more than ever it is important to be present. Linking breath to movements like picking baby up, rocking baby, feeding baby will create space, ease and calm when your feeling a variety of emotions and exhaustion. Inhaling through the nose and out the mouth in deep audible breaths throughout your day will be small acts to yield great self-care.
Want more assistance in your recovery? We specialize in holistic care that includes evaluation, gentle hands-on, and guided pelvic physical therapy. Inquire with us today.