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Exercise & Activity

After the birth, you must become active gradually and stop before you get tired. Rest as much as you can and nap when the baby does. Walking is good, but don't exercise hard until after your four-to-six-week checkup. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth, here are some helpful hints:

  • If you had a cesarean, do not lift anything heavier than the baby.
  • If you had a cesarean, support your incision with your hand or a pillow when you move.
  • When you pick things up, don't bend at the waist, bend at the knee.
  • Walk up and down stairs, but take it slowly.
  • Do not drive a car until you feel less discomfort, are more rested and are not taking any prescribed pain medicines.

When your doctor or nurse midwife says OK, you can do the following exercises. These exercises will tone your whole body and tighten up parts that have stretched. They will tone your muscles, expand your lungs, correct your posture and promote circulation. If you feel pain while you are exercising, stop the exercises and call your doctor or nurse midwife.

Super Kegel Exercise

The kegel exercise may tighten the muscles of the vagina and pelvis.

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat.
  • Keep legs straight and crossed at the ankles.
  • Tighten the muscles of your vagina and pelvic floor.
  • Hold until you can't hold any longer and then release.

You should feel as if you are starting and stopping urination. Repeat this exercise each day, several times. You can also do kegels while you are standing or sitting.

Breathing Exercise

This exercise will help to get the blood flowing through your veins. It also helps you relax.

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat.
  • Bend your knees and rest one hand on your belly.
  • Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Feel your belly push up your hand.
  • Then breathe out and tighten your belly. This will feel like blowing up a balloon and letting out all the air.
  • While you do this exercise, stay relaxed. Don't move your neck or shoulders.
  • Take three to five slow, deep breaths in and out. If you feel dizzy, stop and breathe normally.

Posture

As your body changed shape, your posture changed. These exercises help with good posture.

  • In front of a mirror, stand with your feet a few inches apart.
  • Shift your weight slightly forward to the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees straight but relaxed. Do not lock your knees.
  • Do a pelvic tilt; that is, tighten your stomach muscles and tuck in your bottom.
  • Relax your arms at your sides.
  • Hold your head up, and look straight ahead.
  • Practice this in front of a mirror to get a feel for correct posture.

Stomach Exercises

You can do stomach exercises twice a day. Do each exercise five times to improve the muscle tone of your stomach.

  • Lie on your back, knees bent and arms at your sides. Lift you head and try to touch your chin to your chest. You should feel your belly tighten. Hold for a count of three, then relax.
  • Now squeeze your buttocks together as if you are trying to stop a bowel movement. Hold for a count of three, then relax.
  • Tighten your belly and your buttocks while you press down your lower back against the floor (pelvic tilt). Hold for a count of three, then relax.
  • Do a pelvic tilt and hold it. Bring your right knee slowly toward your chest and hold for a count of three, then return your foot to the starting position. Release the pelvic tilt. Repeat this exercise with your left leg.
Last UpdateDecember 2, 2011
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