So you just gave birth to your beautiful baby, and now what? Pregnancy is ripe with information about the pregnant body. There’s plenty of information about taking care of baby once he or she is here. But what about taking care of the postpartum body? It’s critical to know how to look after your pelvic floor after delivery, even if there’s not a lot of information about it. This post has lots of good information about how to restore your pelvic floor after baby!

Taking care of your pelvic floor early can help prevent issues such as prolapse, incontinence, and pain with intercourse.

Here are 9 Strategies to Restore Your Pelvic Floor

1) Know the details of your labor and delivery

Knowing the details of your labor and delivery will help guide some of the nuances of recovery. Details that are important to know include how long your labor and pushing lasted. Knowing whether you had tearing or an episiotomy can help inform how long recovery might take. This information can also be helpful for a pelvic floor therapist as they work with you to determine the best care. Knowing whether you had a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery will also help guide postpartum care. A cesarean is obvious knowledge, however, if you had any specific complications, this is also helpful information.

2) Poop and Pee Properly

Peeing and pooping properly is essential to postpartum recovery. Most important is to avoid straining or pushing because these things can put more pressure on your pelvic floor. The following is a brief list of things to consider to facilitate better peeing and pooping postpartum.

  • Stay Hydrated
  • Stool softeners
  • Squatty Potty
  • Exhale as you bear down
  • Use light pressure on the perineum
  • Avoid straining
  • Deep breathing
  • Squirt bottle to clean and pat dry after you pee

3) Ice and Compression

Padsicles can help decrease swelling in the vaginal and perineal area. Throw some witch hazel and aloe vera gel on a maxi pad. Place it in a ziploc and into the freezer. This helps with pain management as well as swelling.

4) Avoid Lifting (A lot)

Unless there is a specific medical reason, you can certainly lift your baby or even other children. However, avoiding repetitive lifting or holding your breath with lifting will take an extra load off of your pelvic floor that it doesn’t need. Exhale as you lift. Roll onto your side to get out of bed (getting out of bed can be like a lifting activity!).

5) Rest/ Breathing/ Relaxation

Easier said than done, BUT it’s important. Accept help even if it’s just to take a quick walk outside. Put your feet up, literally. This will help relax your pelvic floor. If you’ve not realized the importance of deep breathing, now is the time!

6) Kegels

Kegels can be very helpful after birth, but it’s important to do them mindfully. Gentle kegels where you relax after each one promote blood flow. Check-in throughout the day and week to do 5-10 kegels a couple times throughout the day. If this causes pain or you feel like you can’t relax after you squeeze, stop and check-in with a pelvic floor therapist.

7) Mindful Movement/ Posture

Gentle, easy movement is the name of the game in the early days. Walking or at the very least changing positions throughout the day will help your mental and emotional health as well as your pelvic floor. To avoid putting extra pressure on your pelvic floor, be sure to sit with support and neutral posture.

8) Grace

You didn’t grow a human in one day, so don’t expect your pelvic floor to be back in one day either. Give your body and your mind grace as you recover.

These are all things I go over with clients before baby comes so they are best prepared for their postpartum recovery!

Check out this post about some gear that can help you postpartum as well!

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