Q: My doctors told me it generally takes 6 weeks to recover from a natural birth and 12 weeks from an abdominal C-section, is that the same for everyone?
A: Pregnancy and childbirth is meant to have many both physical and emotional changes, and there are many things to consider by the word “Recovery”. Any concerns should be discussed with your doctor at your postpartum 6-week checkup.
Generally, 6 weeks postpartum sees good recovery from vaginal childbirth, if there were no complications. At the check-up with your obstetrician or doctor a pelvic examination will ascertain:
– The return of the uterus to pre-pregnancy size (This can be assisted by using the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
– Healing of the episiotomy or cesarean incision (This can be assisted by using the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
– Bladder and bowel function – problems with incontinence, constipation or hemorrhoids
Other checks include:
– Thyroid gland function – As this gland is working overtime for hormone production
– Mental health – Signs of post-natal depression
– Musculoskeletal pain – Pain associated with pregnancy or childbirth (This can be assisted by using the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
– Abdominal integrity – Diastasis Recti (This can be assisted by using the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
Any problems at this checkup can then be referred onto the relevant practitioner.
A women’s health physiotherapist is able to address any problems with pelvic floor function, bladder and bowel issues, musculoskeletal pain and abdominal integrity. They can also guide you through appropriate exercises and a staged return to exercise program. The Belly Band is a physiotherapist recommended product to assist with postnatal recovery.
Following your 6 week all clear, cesarean-section delivery can return to driving or return to lifting light loads with good abdominal control. Each individual heals at a different pace so follow the recommendations from your doctor or physiotherapist. The Belly Band can help stablise your wound and core muscles to assist with healing.
Q: Does exercise with pregnancy reduce the chance of me getting bladder weakness after both?
A: There is no doubt about it – pregnancy is physically demanding. Regular exercise is an essential way of helping your body cope with the increased demands on your joints, muscles, heart and lungs. The Ergonomic Maternity Support Belt can assist with sharing the load during pregnancy and reduce the strain on your joints and muscles.
Benefits of exercise in pregnancy
Regular exercise (at the right intensity) can help reduce back pain, improve or maintain muscle tone, reduce leg cramps, swelling and constipation, and improve sleep patterns. Women who exercise regularly often feel better about themselves and their changing body during pregnancy.
Benefits of doing pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy:
Pelvic floor exercises will maintain your pelvic floor tone
The exercises help you feel connected with what is going on within your body
The risk of uterine or bladder prolapse is reduced post part
Pregnancy, delivery and recovery time can be improved
Post-partum discomfort from perineal swelling and hemorrhoids is lessened
The likelihood of perineal tearing or needing an episiotomy is reduced
Improved sex life can result, as muscle tone of the vagina is maintained
Urinary incontinence/leakage during pregnancy and after delivery is lessened
A toned pelvic floor leads to more complete emptying of the bladder and bowel
Helps to avoid stress incontinence after delivery – small amounts of urine leakage when laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting something heavy
Q: What are the signs that tell me I am exercising too soon after birth?
A: Muscle or joint pain – this may be related to the skeletal strain and hormonal increased joint flexibility of pregnancy and childbirth (This can be reduced with the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
Leakage of urine/aching and heaviness of the pelvic floor area – too much impact and weight bearing during exercise will place increased demand on the pelvic floor muscles and predispose to incontinence and prolapse
Milk production depletion – high intensity exercise can cause depletion of milk production
Abdominal tenderness – engaging in too much abdominal work too early may cause muscle fatigue. (This can be reduced with the Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band)
Breast tenderness – high impact exercise will cause breast tenderness and discomfort
Tiredness and fatigue – Looking after a newborn is physically and mentally demanding, it is best to ease yourself into an exercise routine. Maximise results with
.ALISON BLAKE – BODYBALLAlison has been a physiotherapist since 1986. She has an interest in the area of Women’s Health, Pelvic Pain and instability, pain associated with pregnancy and the post natal period and consults in this area. Alison has developed an expertise in the exercise needs of pregnant and post natal women through the Bodyball Exercise Program. She designed and instructed the Post natal Physiotherapy class in the Maternity Unit at North Shore Private Hospital giving her an insight into the needs of this group of women.