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Postnatal gymnastics: technique, effect

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 465 views

Postnatal gymnastics includes special exercises for mothers after childbirth. The aim is to strengthen the muscles that are particularly stressed, such as the pelvic floor and abdomen. Read here how new mums can get fit again with postnatal exercises and when they should start.

Postnatal exercises make you fit again after the birth

Postnatal exercises primarily strengthen the pelvic floor . It’s not about getting the “after-baby body” back into shape as quickly as possible. Targeted rehabilitation gymnastics strengthens the pelvic floor, among other things. It counteracts various ailments.

  • (Stress) incontinence (affects 20 to 30 percent of new moms!)
  • Rectus diastasis (gap between the straight abdominal muscle strands),
  • prolapse of the uterus or bladder
  • back and pelvic pain

Even mothers who do not have any of the above complaints should not do without post-natal gymnastics. It prevents complaints such as incontinence in later years. According to studies, both the general fitness of the young mother and her well-being benefit. And: regression after childbirth can also make the sensations during sex more intense.

Postnatal gymnastics – the best exercises

Even if new mums usually have little time left: you should definitely invest 15 minutes three times a week in postnatal exercises. With some variants, your baby even knows how to “do gymnastics”.

You can read which exercises are particularly suitable and how to carry them out exactly in the article Postnatal exercises .

Postnatal exercises – the right time

Theoretically, new mums can start light pelvic floor training two or three days after the birth as an introduction to post-natal gymnastics. The point at which postnatal rehabilitation makes sense depends primarily on how the young mother is doing and whether she is physically able to become active.

If everything is fine, it is recommended as a guideline to attend a postnatal gymnastics course in the sixth week after a vaginal birth. But it’s never too late to start recovery. Ask your gynecologist for his opinion and don’t start without his ok.

Postnatal exercises after a caesarean section

You should give yourself a little more time for recovery after a caesarean section . Experts recommend starting eight to ten weeks after the birth with postnatal exercises after a caesarean section. However, one should not do without post-natal exercises completely, even after a caesarean birth. The exercises are extremely important for strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, which are heavily used during pregnancy. If you don’t do gymnastics, you’ll also run the risk of incontinence later on.

Postnatal exercises – what you should pay attention to

When choosing the course, make sure it is led by an experienced physiotherapist or midwife. She knows which exercises new mothers are allowed to do when and can respond to your individual needs/problems.

Only do exercises that don’t cause pain. Postnatal gymnastics is not a competition, exaggerated ambition is definitely out of place here. Exercises that put a lot of strain on the straight abdominal muscles, such as sit-ups, should not be carried out by new mums until the overstretched abdominal wall (diastasis) has closed. Otherwise there is a risk of postural damage and back problems.

Postnatal gymnastics – in class or at home?

A combination of a course and postnatal exercises at home is ideal for recovery after pregnancy. In addition to one lesson per week, you should set aside around 15 minutes for the post-natal exercises every day, but at least three times a week.

Abdomen, pelvic floor, back etc. are best strengthened at the beginning under the guidance of an experienced midwife or physiotherapist. She knows which exercises are possible and can correct them when they are carried out in order to avoid incorrect or overloading.

As a rule, health insurance companies cover the costs for up to ten hours (usually 45 minutes each) of postnatal gymnastics. A course also has the advantage that new mums can exchange ideas with each other.

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