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How soon after birth can I do post-natal excercise?

Post natal exercise can be performed soon after delivery depending on the type of exercise. Your physiotherapist will give you some gentle exercises that can be performed day one. These may include gentle foot and lower leg exercises, especially if you have had a caesarean section.

After you have had your baby your physiotherapist will assess your abdominal muscles in order to determine how much abdominal separation you have.

It is important not to perform any type of ‘sit up’ exercises. Your physiotherapist will determine when you are able to do this type of exercise. Healing can take up to 12 months. Your physiotherapist will also determine, it any, damage to your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can be performed soon in a gentl way as they aid in the healing f the structures. Again you need to be guided by your physiotherapist as trying too hard can lead to incontinence issues.

Any high impact exercise such as jogging/tennis/netball should not be performed for at least 6 to 12 months. Relaxin is a hormone released during the last trimester in order for baby to pass through the birth canal. This results in legamentous laxity and because of this any high impact exercise can cause joint damage or pain. Heavy weights can also damage joints due to this ligamentous laxity. Your physiotherapist can assist you in what type of post natal exercise is best for you.