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Postpartum Exercises for a Better Recovery | Birth Doula

hey mama is we are on part 4 of our

four-part video series talking all about

postpartum recovery in this video we are

talking all about fitness if this is

your first time to my channel don't

forget to hit that subscribe button in

the bell next to it so you don't miss

any of my other videos I am Bridget and

I'm a doula and I love helping moms love

their birth so if you're anything like

me you might have some questions about

what kind of exercises you should be

doing during this healing recovery

postpartum period that are going to help

with the healing process but aren't

going to put too much strain on your

recovery and body so in this video I'm

going to be talking about simple

exercises that you can be doing to start

your fitness journey postpartum so one

of the best things that you can start

off doing for your physical health is

just start walking it's not only good

for your physical health but also for

your mental and emotional health just to

be able to get out of your house enjoy

nature enjoy people watching enjoy

walking to your favorite coffee shop or

just enjoying that fresh air so getting

out and moving your body is going to be

super important during those first few

weeks in terms of just overall health

but more on the physical side walking is

super good for your body because it's

going to help prevent your body creating

any blood clots

so what walking does this really helps

blood circulation reach all your limbs

which is super important especially for

a woman who's had a cesarean birth and

just helping blood flow go to all of her

body so walking should be your go-to

exercise as you start this little

fitness journey during that postpartum

recovery period so the next big thing is

core strengthening and it's super

important to focus on this after we've

had a baby because for nine long months

our core has been kind of taking a

beating because you know our abdominal

muscles have been stretching as our

belly has been stretching and we've had

a lot of weight centered in our core and

so it's really important that we are

taking good care of our core after birth

during that postpartum recovery period

so the big muscles that are carrying all

the weight of baby and supporting

you know the weight of baby the amniotic

fluid the placenta the uterus all of

that are the transverse abdominus and

they're horizontal abdominal muscles

that go from hip to hip and just stretch

all the way around the torso so since

all throughout birth you're transverse

abdominus have been stretching and

they've been you know using all of their

strength to support your growing baby

it's really important that we focus on

strengthening those muscles after birth

during that postpartum recovery period

and the reason why I'm talking so much

about the transverse abdominis is

because the normal crunch that we do or

the setup that we do isn't engaging

those muscles as well as those muscles

it should not really be used during this

very first postpartum recovery period

just because it does put a lot of strain

on those abdominal muscles that have

been taking a beating for the last nine

months and so we want to kind of avoid

those traditional sit-ups or crunches

that we think of when we talk about core

strengthening so let's talk about some

core strengthening exercises that you

can be doing these exercises are really

focused exercises they should not make

you feel you know like you're working

out insanely hard remember these are

exercises you can be doing during your

recovery process as always before you

start doing any kind of exercise you

need to make sure that you are cleared

by your doctor and that usually happens

within the four to six week range so

again make sure you check in with your

doctor to make sure that these exercises

are safe for you so the first exercise

that I want to share with you is the

transverse abdominis bracing and

basically what that is is really

activating your core through breathing

so I'm going to show you guys how to do

this

so this bracing that I am showing you it

really looks like deep diaphragmatic

breathing and what that's going to do is

really engage and help strengthen your

core you're going to want to lay down on

a flat surface and you're going to want

to take a

deep but relaxed breath as you are

expanding your uterus as you've expanded

your uterus as you exhale you're going

to want to flex your pelvis inward so

that your lower back is completely on

the ground and there isn't a gap in your

lower back and you're going to want to

exhale and hold at the end of your

exhale for four to six seconds and then

release into that deep relaxed inhale

throughout your diaphragm and your

uterus

once you have exhaled and you are

holding your breath for those four to

five seconds make sure that you are

keeping that core and you're in that

pelvic region nice and tight almost like

you're doing a Kegel through that

exercise the next one is the transverse

abdominis side-lying bracing and what

you're going to do is do the same

technique as the lying down but instead

you're going to do it on one of your

sides and what that's going to help you

do is that's going to help you engage

and strengthen one side more and then

once you flip over it's going to help

you engage that other side so it's just

a little bit more of a workout for those

different sides the next exercise that

you can do with this core strengthening

is the bent knee side drop what you're

going to do for this exercise you're

going to lay on your back and you're

going to bend your knees so your knees

are looking up at the ceiling again we

want to really engage that core because

that's what we are focusing on

strengthening and so you're going to

tilt your pelvis inward and draw your

belly button almost like there's a

string attached to your spine so you're

drawing your belly button down to the

ground down towards your spine to really

activate that core as well as that

pelvic floor make sure that there is not

a gap in your lower back and the ground

if you can stick your arm through that

area then you are not activating your

core well enough you need to make sure

that your back is flat on the ground

once your core is activated you can draw

one of your knees to the ground slowly

and then bring it back up while the

other knee remains stationary once the

other knee has made it back up to the

top you can switch legs let that one

drop while the other stays stationary

and slowly bring it back up and repeat

that several times the last exercise

that I have for you in core

strengthening is a bent knee single drop

toe touch what you're going to do for

this exercise is to once again get on

your back and you're going to want to

raise your legs up in an inverted

tabletop position so again for this

exercise we want to make sure we are

really engaging our core and so that

means making sure that our pelvis is

tilted inward our belly button is going

to our spine like there's a string

attached to it going closer to the

ground and we want to make sure that

that gap between our lower back and the

floor does not exist that our back is

nice and flat against the floor once

your core is engaged and your legs are

up in an inverted tabletop position

which are going to do is just slowly and

gently bring one leg down while the

other one stays stationary at the top

and tap your toe lightly against the

ground and then slowly bring it back up

once that leg has reached the top then

you can drop the other leg down slowly

and gently to tap your toe against the

floor and bring it back up during this

exercise it is a good idea to put your

hands on your tummy and as you are

dropping your leg one at a time if you

feel like your tummy is coning or if

there is almost like a little loaf of

bread in your abdominal area that means

that you are not engaging your core it

probably means that there's a gap

between the floor and your lower back so

you need to correct that so that your

core is nice and strong and engaged

before you continue doing your leg drops

so because our abdominal muscles have

been through so much during our

pregnancy having core strengthening

exercises during this postpartum

recovery period is super important a lot

of moms during pregnancy develop die

that's recti which is just abdominal

separation and you can tell because

there's usually like a line to her belly

button where it shows a separation of

her abs and these exercises that I've

shared with you can help repair that but

you have to make sure that you are doing

them correctly because if you're not

it's only going to make this condition

worse but apart from these exercises

you're definitely going to want to seek

out professional help if you think that

you have diastasis recti and how to help

yourself heal and repair from it

so along with your abdominal muscles the

big muscle that's taken a lot of the

hits is your pelvic floor and that's

something you've heard probably since

the beginning of your pregnancy and your

pet your pelvic floor is like a hammock

shaped muscle that just sits in your

pelvis and it keeps your bladder it

keeps your bowels it keeps your uterus

all where it's supposed to be so it's

really holding up a lot of your insides

and so it's really important that you

have a strong pelvic floor when you have

a weak pelvic floor and you're going to

experience peeing when you don't want to

right a lot of moms express that they

have this incontinence right where they

pee where they when they laugh or when

they Kaufer sneeze and so that is common

in a lot of moms during postpartum

recovery and even after but it doesn't

mean that it should be happening because

that usually only happens when you have

a weak pelvic floor so exercises that

I'm about to share with you are going to

help strengthen that pelvic floor so the

number one exercise that comes to mind

for most women when I talk about pelvic

floor are kegels and so the kegels are a

good way to help strengthen your pelvic

floor if you're not sure how to do them

or what that even is if you are sitting

on the toilet going pee just use the

muscle to make you stop going pee to

stop the flow of urine and that is

basically doing a Kegel and so imagine

doing that and then you can do that

sitting down you don't have to be on the

toilet you don't have to be peeing but

imagine

doing that and using that muscle and

basically you just flex it for about 10

seconds more if you can then release

then tighten them again and that's

basically doing a Kegel the next one in

helping strengthen your pelvic floor is

doing your activated breathing or the

bracing like I showed you for those

abdominal exercises so that

diaphragmatic that deep breathing that

bracing exercise that I showed you just

really engages your core and remember

how I talked about how you tilt your

pelvis inward that's also activating

your pelvic floor and so that's really

going to help strengthen that pelvic

floor that maybe has gotten a little bit

weak during your pregnancy the third

exercise that's really going to help

strengthen your pelvic floor is one that

I always did in middle school in high

school in gym class and I never thought

I would need it but wall sits is a great

exercise to really engage your pelvic

floor and to help strengthen it after

you've given birth after you've been

pregnant and you are in that postpartum

recovery period so I'm just you know sit

against the wall like you are sitting in

a chair an invisible chair you want to

flex your pelvis again so that you have

your back flat against the wall and

that's really going to help engage that

pelvic floor and strengthen it so the

last one that I want to share with you

is good posture and I know it's not one

that we think about usually when we're

talking about fitness and exercise and

all that but it's something we should

really be aware of all the time because

it's something we are doing all of the

time whether we are sitting standing

cooking watching TV walking around

whatever it is we should be aware of our

posture you know I was talking about how

during pregnancy our ABS have been

stretched and strained and now we have

to retrain them how to come back

together and tighten together in a big

way to do that is just you're having

good posture so sitting up straight

having your your core engaged as you are

sitting having your shoulders back but

relaxed and having that good posture is

really going to help retrain your your

transverse abdominis that I was talking

about before to tighten and connect

better with the fascia

that is in your abdominal area so having

good posture is a really big one that we

often overlook but it's definitely

important so those were all exercises to

do during your postpartum recovery but

here are some ones that you're going to

want to avoid the first ones are

crunches or sit-ups or you know getting

from that lying down position to that

sitting up position on your own and

those are ones that we're going to want

to avoid other ones are running jumping

at first lifting heavy weights things

that are really going to overexert you

start slow mama you have just you know

completed a marathon really getting a

baby from your womb into this world and

onto your chest and in your arms and

into your home and hearts so all that to

say take it slow there is no need to you

know bounce back right away you have

evolved into a different self and an

improved self you know there is no

reason that you need to go back to your

old old self with that being said a lot

of changes come around that six to

twelve month mark after baby is born so

if you aren't seeing results right away

just keep putting away at those

exercises because they are going to help

your body heal and they are going to

help your body mend and recover and as

you keep doing it and as you are able to

increase what you are able to do

physically in that fitness area you will

start seeing results so really be

focusing on your physical health with

eating with exercising but also on that

bond with your baby and your growing

family and your mental and emotional

health those are what are more important

right now than maybe losing weight and

getting back to what you were so all

that to say mama you are beautiful the

way that you are but I hope that these

tips really helped you kind of kickstart

that recovery process and your fitness

journey

that concludes our four-part series

thanks for watching and I will see you

next time