The first 4 weeks post-partum are such a unique and special time as you begin to figure out this new way of living and caring for a newborn. It’s important during this time to also prioritise yourself and your recovery, no matter which type of birth you have had.
We recommend a telehealth call at 2 weeks post-partum to give specific advice and answer any questions you might have, and then see a pelvic floor physio for an assessment at 4-6 weeks post-birth. You can book your telehealth call online here
Here are our favourite tips for new mums in that early first few weeks.
For the first few weeks it is important to rest (this does not include times when you’re breastfeeding). Lying flat or with your hips slightly raised on a pillow throughout the day can help with this.
As your abdominals recover from being stretched during pregnancy, they have also weakened. It is important to avoid heavy lifting and lift no heavier than your baby’s weight. Carry you baby close to your body and avoid twisting. Your physiotherapist will go through exercises to help with abdominal recovery and building strength safely, as well as safe lifting techniques.
It can initially be uncomfortable to poo post-partum, particularly if you have stitches. Avoid constipation through drinking lots of water and many women require use of stool softeners like Movicol to help keep bowels soft. Empty bowels with your feet resting on a small stool or box and lean forward – try not to strain and instead relax, breathe and try “moo to poo”! To support any stitches, apply pressure to the area as you empty your bowels.
After birth, it can take a while for bladder sensation to return to normal. It is common in the first couple of weeks to not be able to feel when your bladder is full. To prevent overfilling, go to the toilet every 2-3 hours. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids: at least 1.5-2L per day.
It is important to start activating your pelvic floor and abdominals in the first few weeks. Your physiotherapist will outline exercises to help build back pelvic floor strength and help with recovery.
Walk only short distances to begin with – no more than 10 minutes at a time, and rest if you start to feel sore or feel any vaginal heaviness.
Grace Gleeson Women’s Health Physio
Like to know more about women’s health and how a women’s health physio can help you? Read more here!
Here at Synergy Physio we love helping women with their health. We offer expertise in pelvic pain, SIJ pain and pregnancy related pain.
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