At this point, many women ask themselves if it’s time to get more physically active. Pelvic floor exercises are good to do regularly, and are the exercises you should start with. If you haven’t done so, begin there. It’s never too late to start pelvic floor exercises and these exercises give results fast, which is often a good motivator.
One good method is the 8 x 8 x 8, which we described earlier. Squeeze hard for 8 seconds, relax for 8 seconds and repeat 8 times. Remember that relaxation between the clenches is equally as important as the clench and part of the exercise. The pelvic floor needs to practice being relaxed as well.
Regardless of how fit you were before, the body needs exercise from the inside out after a pregnancy. It is a strain for the body to go through a pregnancy and give birth to a baby. Try to see your postpartum exercises as rehab training. What suits you is also very personal. How physically active were you before pregnancy? Did you exercise during pregnancy? For how long did you not exercise?
Start by going for walks, and gradually increase the distance and speed. You can run or jog as long as you have no discomfort and have had your checkup. Your core stability and glutes are next in line. During a pregnancy, your glute muscles are less activated and it’s easy to lose muscle strength. Glute muscles are important for our core and posture. Walking uphill or on a treadmill at an incline is a good start. Other good exercises are bridges, squats and standing on all fours and lifting one leg at a time to the side. But, as we said, allow recovery to take time. Nine months pregnant, nine months recovery.
Breastfeeding as a form of contraception?
It’s called the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). This method is 98% effective if you follow certain guidelines. The criteria are that breastfeeding must be exclusive, your baby may not eat or drink anything other than breastmilk, you must nurse at a maximum of four-hour intervals during the day and no more than six-hour intervals at night. After six months, or when you start feeding your baby food other than breastmilk, you should be prepared to use another method to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Source: - Hatice Kahyaoglu Sut. & Petek Balkanli Kaplan. (2016). Effect of pelvic floor muscle exercise on pelvic floor muscle activity and voiding functions during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Neurourol Urodyn.l Mar;35(3):417-22. DOI: 10.1002/nau.22728 - Janson, P.O. & Landgren, B. (red.) (2010). Gynekologi. (1. uppl.) Lund: Studentlitteratur. - Kaplan, A. (red.) (2009). Lärobok för barnmorskor. (3., omarb. uppl.) Lund: Studentlitteratur. - Myles, M.F., Marshall, J.E. & Raynor, M.D. (red.) (2014). Myles textbook for midwives. (16th edition). Edinburgh: Elsevier. - Savage S. J. (2020). A Fourth Trimetser Action Plan for Wellness. The Journal of Perinatal Education. Apr 1;29(2):103-112. DOI: 10.1891/J-PE-D-18-00034