Getting back into shape may not be the first thing on your mind after delivering a baby. The pregnancy changes reverse to a normal pre-pregnancy state by about six weeks after delivery. By then, the uterus shrinks back to almost the original size, the pregnancy hormones clear from the body and the blood circulation returns to normal.
If someone has undergone a caesarean section, the wound generally takes about two weeks to completely heal. Bending down while changing the baby’s nappies, picking the baby up and while breastfeeding will strain the back and may cause long-standing back pain. However, gentle stretches, walks and strolls are good to keep the body supple and maintain the tone of the muscles.
Here are some tips for getting back in shape:
* Hydration plays a very important role in the immediate postpartum period. Good hydration maintains circulation, avoids blood clots forming the veins, improves breast milk production and avoids constipation and therefore piles.
* Walking is an easy task and a good way to ease back pain and get you to shape. Brisk walks help prepare you for more intense exercises later.
* Swimming is also a good exercise after delivery. This can be resumed after about four to six weeks of delivery, once the bleeding has stopped and the wounds have healed completely.
* The tummy that has stretched during the nine months of pregnancy to accommodate the baby will not shrink back being flat immediately after delivery. The abdominal muscles will need exercise to tone and strengthen them.
* Some core strengthening exercises that can be done are leg raises, pelvic bridge, crunches and heel touching, etc.
* Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel’s exercises are very important for all women to maintain a good pelvic tone.
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