Postnatal Physical Resources

Your body’s recovery and return to physical exercise is very individual and will depend on your type of birth and experience, any pelvic floor or musculoskeletal issues, your energy levels, and fitness and strength from pregnancy.  Remember to listen to your body and give yourself time. You have just grown a baby for 9 months and given birth, so go easy on yourself. You and your body are unique so try not to compare yourself to others.....everyone is on their own journey and recovery. Be kind to yourself.

 

There are several physical symptoms that can occur postnatally which can also have an impact on your emotional and mental well being too. It is highly recommended to see a women’s or pelvic health physiotherapist 6-8 weeks after your birth for a full postnatal check up (although it is never too late for this check up). Please follow these links to find a fully qualified women’s health physiotherapist in your area:

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You should also see your GP and be referred to a women’s health physiotherapist on the NHS if you experience any of the following:

  • Pelvic pain, heaviness, a lump or feeling that something is coming out of your vagina. This could be a sign you have a prolapse. For more information please click HERE

  • Incontinence; leaking of urine or faeces, however small an amount. This may occur due to pelvic floor muscle weakness, a perineal tear or prolapse. For more information please click HERE 

  • Abdominal bulging or doming and/or pain with this. This could be a sign of RAD (rectus abdominis diastasis) which is a separation of your outer abdominal muscles or what is known as the ‘six pack’ muscles.  During pregnancy all women will experience this to an extent; which is normal; but it should start to improve after a few weeks.  It is important to get this checked as if left untreated it may cause abdominal, back or pelvic pain, poor core stability and pelvic floor muscle problems. It is not advisable to start traditional ‘ab work’ like crunches or planks as this will not restore normal muscle activity and can actually cause more harm than good.

  • Difficulties with emptying your bladder or bowels or increased urgency. This may occur due to pelvic floor muscle weakness or prolapse. For more information please click HERE and HERE.

  • Any  musculoskeletal aches and pains such as hip, back, neck or wrist symptoms

Other resources you might find helpful:

NHS: You After Birth

Bladder and bowel UK

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

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