After you have your baby, these simple steps will improve your recovery.
Roll on to your side to get out of bed.
Bend your knees, roll onto your side and drop your feet over the edge of the bed and push up with your arms.
Avoid heavy lifting as it causes extra pressure on your pelvic floor muscles.
Avoid straining when you are going to the toilet. Straining will stretch your pelvic floor muscles.
Avoid constipation – Make sure you drink plenty of fluids (especially if you are breastfeeding) and include lots of fibre in your diet.
Commence pelvic floor exercises 24 hours after delivery
After a vaginal birth
Focus on RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, until pain and swelling subsides.
Try to lie horizontally or on your side as much as possible. This helps to relieve pressure on the pelvic floor and perineum. It is useful to try feeding your baby in the side-lying position
Apply externally to your perineum for 10-15 mins every 2-3 hours until swelling and pain subsides
Support your perineum by wearing bike shorts or control briefs, or even try 2 pads to provide extra compression in the first few days.
Prevent gravity ‘dragging down’ your perineum by lying down whenever possible.
After a caesarean birth
For the first few days after your birth, do some deep breathing practice – 5 deep breaths every hour during the day, and move your legs / ankles frequently (10 ankle circles every hour).