General Post Natal Exercise Tips

Tip 1:  Take it easy to start with - if you are resistance training, avoid working to fatigue and give high              impact exercises a miss e.g. running/skipping until your pelvic floor is strengthened.

 Start very gently with abdominal exercises to avoid injury

Tip 2:   As a guide, only hold stretches for about 8-10 seconds as your joints will be less stable due to the presence of the hormone Relaxin in your body

Tip 3:   If you are breastfeeding, feed your baby before you exercise. Your breasts will be less full and therefore feel more comfortable. Wear breast pads.  Ensure you are drinking plenty of water to make sure you are keeping well hydrated

Tip 4:   Get a properly fitted sports bra to reduce the amount of “bounce” and provide adequate shock absorption to the breasts. Tight elasticated sports bra tops aren’t that suitable for new mums who are breastfeeding as they compress the breasts into the
chest wall, which may constrict you milk ducts and/or lead to infection e.g. mastitis

Tip 5:   During some of the exercises, a neutral spine position should be maintained.  Neutral spine means the natural curve of your spine. It is important to keep this neutral position to keep good posture and also to make the exercises harder. If you are lying on
your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor try rocking your pelvis up and down. Gradually make your movements smaller and smaller until you feel a gentle curve in your lower back. This is your neutral position

Tip 6:   The exercises in this plan will help you to build and maintain good core strength.  Ease yourself into a new exercise routine and let your muscles get used to the new movements before putting them under too much strain.  After a couple of weeks your
muscles will be ready for you to increase the intensity of the exercise

Tip 7:   The ‘core’ refers to five muscles that wrap around your midsection and that help to support your spine to perform certain daily movements – lifting, pulling and pushing.  These 5 major core muscles, (transverse abdominis, multifidius, internal and external
obliques, rectus abdominus and erector spinae), are very important muscles for all mums to keep strong and healthy due to the amount of lifting and twisting required to keep up with small children

Tip 8:   There is one exercise that you can do from day one after the birth of your baby and that is practising exercising your pelvic floor. If you are unsure how to locate your pelvic floor muscles, imagine pulling in the muscles around your back passage and front
passage. Squeeze them in a little and then hold them for a couple of seconds and then release.  If it helps, you can imagine you are lifting and lowering a drawbridge inside you.  Alternate between a few repetitions of slow and controlled squeezing with a few short,
fast contractions. Try and perform these daily, ideally for the rest of your life.  You should see the benefit of these exercises after about 6-8 weeks

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