Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Monday, February 13, 2012

Postpartum Exercises Right after Childbirth

Although you do need to wait for a month before resuming your exercise program, these exercises are very gentle and easy that can be done within a few hours of childbirth, even a cesarean section. Doing these exercises will help you to regain your strength slowly. However, don’t be hasty to get your old shape back. Take your time. Listen to your body and don’t exert if your body objects. Relax between a set and don’t hold your breath.
Starting the kegels right after childbirth is the best way to prevent a host of postpartum issues like vaginal gas, prolapsed uterus and urinary incontinence. Kegels, tightens the vaginal muscles, strengthens your pelvic floor and improves bladder control. This exercise can be done even if you have had a Cesarean birth. You may find it a little hard to this exercise initially, as the muscles are loose and you may not feel anything. Nevertheless, trying to do kegels is the best thing for you after childbirth.(read Pregnancy - Top Exercises For an Easy Childbirth)

Slow Breathing
By breathing right, our body gets sufficient oxygen, especially to the brain and our blood.  But unfortunately, most often, we breathe shallowly as we only make use of the upper section of our lungs, due to which our organs are deprived of its rightful oxygen supply, causing a host of health problems. Breathing eases childbirth and will continue to help you after childbirth too. Slow and deep breathing will rejuvenate you and improve your physical and mental health.

While lying on your back, in bed, in the hospital, place one hand on your lower abdomen and breathe slow and deep, taking in air right down to your base of your lungs and further down to your diaphragm. Release air just as slowly. Continue in this manner for about 5 to 6 times to start with and then gradually increase. Slow breathing revitalizes, de-stresses and removes waste toxins from your body.

Rotate your foot and hand
You can do this exercise while lying down on your back in bed or while sitting on the side of the bed. Rotate your foot clockwise and anti-clockwise for about 5 times each side. Similarly, close your hand lightly into a fist and rotate both ways about 5 times. Do it as often as you can, as it enhances blood circulation.

Stretch your neck
Rotating your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise about 3 times will release the tension from the nape of your neck, as breastfeeding may stiffen your neck, on account of looking down at your baby. Likewise, drop your head forwards, as far as you can and backwards with the chin pointing right up, about 3 times. Then, turn your head sideways, keeping your head straight, about 3 times. Next, drop your head sideways with your right ear touching the right shoulder and do the same with the left ear. This will improve the mobility of your neck and relax your spine at the base of your head. Do this exercise whenever you can.

Slide and stretch your legs
This exercise can be done while lying down or sitting up on the bed. Either way, you bend your knees and let one leg slide right out in front of you. Then, as you slide it back, slide out the other leg completely. Do this about 5 times to begin with, gradually increasing it to 9 to 10 times. This exercise will strengthen your core.

Leg bracing
 While lying down, bend your knees. Cross your ankles and slowly straighten your legs. Then, tighten your thigh and butt muscles at the same time and hold up to the count of 5. Release and do again. Repeat the whole procedure about 3 times and do it as often as you can.

If the doctor has given the go ahead to start walking, you can leave your bed and slowly walk through the corridors of the hospital.

Bending and lifting after childbirth
Childbirth has loosened your muscles, bones and strained your back as well. Therefore, it is important not to aggravate it further. While reaching for low objects, bend at the knees, keeping your back straight as opposed to bending forward at the waist. Keeping your feet slightly apart, bend at the knees and pick up low objects. This posture uses your thigh muscles and not your back muscles.

Note: Rest and sleep is very important for a new mother, as she needs all her strength to face the challenge of a demanding job like looking after a baby. 


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