Active Pregnancy
Recovery Exercises after Delivery

 

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After nine months of carrying your bundle of joy and going through the rigors of giving birth, new mothers are normally anxious to regain control of their bodies. Wresting back your body from the clutches of excess weight and aching joints and muscles is no mean feat, but there’s no need to despair.

 

Accompanied by the proper diet and enough hydration, you can start with gentle recovery exercises that’ll help you heal faster and nurture you back to a stronger, fitter, and healthier body.

 

Here are some moves that you can do within the first weeks to help your muscles recover after a cesarean section or normal delivery. Try to do 10 to 20 repetitions of every exercise 2 to 3 times a day with your doctor’s approval, of course.

 

1. Diaphragmatic breathing: Lying on your back, gently put your hands over your tummy. Inhale, feeling your belly rise as it fills up with air. Breathe out through your mouth, tightening your abs. Pulling your tummy in towards your spine, your stomach should flatten, as you exhale.

2. “Hut!” Exercise: Sitting up in bed or a chair, or lying on your side in bed, place your hands over your belly. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, say the word “HUT!” as forcefully as you can manage without pain. You should be able to feel your tummy tighten as you say “HUT!” and relax as you inhale.

3. Ankle/foot movements: To help prevent blood clots after anesthesia, stretch, flex, and rotate your feet and ankles. Your legs and calves will also thank you for the improved circulation, reducing cramps and kinks.

Ankle-joints-exercises

4. Kegels: This can be done in any position, just make sure that you are contracting the right muscles—the ones that you tighten up to stop the flow of urine and not your buttock or thigh muscles. Squeeze and hold for 10 counts, then slowly relax to the count of 10. Another variation is to just do a series of quick, short contractions. This will help strengthen your pelvic floor and help you regain muscle control.

 

Before starting any diet or physical workout, you should consult your doctor. Remember that you are still on the way to recovery so don’t do anything strenuous that could spell disaster to your health and well-being.

Photo credits: http://www.clareloprinzi.com/postpartum.html and http://www.dahnyoga.us/category/dahnyogaexercises/


Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

Imagine Nation Photography


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