After you have a baby, it’s important to remember the pelvic floor muscles have been stretched quite a bit during your pregnancy and possibly during delivery.

Regardless of whether you had a vaginal or caesarean delivery, you still need to take care of these precious muscles, and make sure they recover properly to avoid problems down the track. Did you know that rates of stress urinary incontinence at 12 months post-natal are the same, whether you had a vaginal or caesarean birth? Amazing isn’t it?

One in three women who ever had a baby wet themselves.  It’s a scary statistic, but let’s find the motivation to make sure that’s not us!

The workouts in the 28 by Sam Wood postnatal program are low impact, to minimise the pressure on your pelvic floor muscles while still giving you are great workout.  And of course you can enjoy other low impact activities, such as walking, swimming, cycling, yoga and pilates.

Straining your pelvic floor muscles too soon can result in delayed recovery, which is why we have chosen safe, low impact options. We want the muscles to be strong to avoid problems with incontinence and prolapse, or pelvic pain.

Having a baby really is a great motivation to focus on these muscles! So to keep your pelvic floor muscles healthy, here’s a reminder of what to avoid.

Exercises to avoid:

High impact exercise, such as running, jumping

Strong abdominal exercises, such as sit ups, crunches, curl ups, double leg lowers, V-sits and plank holds

Deep squats

Lifting heavy weights

Other activities to avoid:

Avoid anything that feels like it’s putting too much downwards pressure on your muscles.  Vacuuming and mopping are often the culprits, so don’t hesitate to ask your partner to help!

Thankfully, pelvic floor muscles usually recover really well after pregnancy and delivery, with the right care.

So prioritise your daily pelvic floor exercises, and make sure you keep in mind these safe exercise options.