- Liron Murphy
9 Physio Tips for Healing after Birth
Today I have a special guest blog - from Women's Health Professional and Pelvic floor Physio, Liron Murphy.
Here's her top 9 tips for recovery
WHEN YOU JUST GET HOME AFTER GIVING BIRTH
A good friend of mine just gave birth recently to a beautiful, healthy little girl with a huge head of hair! She had a vaginal birth, and she was asking me tips to help with pain and looking after her body in the days after coming home from the hospital. So I thought I would write some of them down! -these tips are relevant in the first couple of weeks postpartum.
1. Pelvic floor contractions.
You can start this from day 1 no matter what kind of birth you had. Start gently, doing a few contractions in a row in what ever position is comfortable for you. Work up to getting to 10 in a row, a few times a day. Make sure you keep breathing and not tensing your whole body as you do this. This helps with swelling, improving circulation and keeps your muscles active (There is no need to do more than this at this stage).
You just had a baby, and it’s a huge feat on your body. Rest as much as you can, take up everyone’s offer of help.
3. Lie down
When I say rest, I mean try and rest lying down. It helps with pain and swelling of the perineal area.
4. Toilet Habits
Use a step (under your feet) when going to the loo for wees and poos, and do not strain! If you’re nervous about doing a number 2, especially if you have a tear, place some toilet paper on your hand and place a gentle pressure with your hand on your perineum as you go.
When feeding (breast or bottle), try and do it while in a symmetrical position with a relatively straight spine (read: not slouched on the couch). Try sitting with a support pillow under the little one or while lying down.
Try not to lift too much (see number 3). When you do need to lift your baby, contract your pelvic floor muscles and breathe OUT beforehand. Try and put off lifting prams, and bags and what not as much as possible for a good few weeks. Look after your pelvic floor at this stage.
7. Coughing and Sneezing
When you need to cough and sneeze - squeeze your pelvic floor up before hand. If you have pain in you perineal area, you can use a towel and gently apply pressure to the area to provide some extra support. If you've had a C-section, you can place a towel or pillow against your incision for support.
You can go for short walks outside, but don’t push yourself. (And no crunches yet please!) Pushing a pram is a good enough of a "core" exercise this soon after giving birth.
9. See a Pelvic Floor Physio
Make sure to book an appointment with you pelvic floor physiotherapist for six weeks after having your baby so that they can assess the strength and condition of your pelvic floor muscles and for any signs of prolapse before going back to sport or heavy chores and lifting.