I had my baby. Now what?

Pelvic floor exercises are safe to begin the next day after delivering baby, whether vaginally or via cesarean section.

To perform a pelvic floor contraction, as known as a Kegel, find the muscles you would use to stop urinating. Squeeze these muscles for 3 seconds and then relax. It is important to isolate just the muscles of the pelvis and pay attention to keeping the stomach, thighs and gluteals relaxed. Once you find these muscles hold the squeeze for 3 seconds while maintaining normal breathing. Then relax for 3 seconds. If you want to see the best results repeat this contract->hold->relax 10 times, at least 3 times a day. To progress pelvic floor strengthening, you will add 1 second to your squeeze time every week. Pelvic floor muscles are considered at full strength when you are able to hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Transverse Abdominal Activation

The transverse abdominus (TA) is the muscle of our inner core. You supported your baby for the last 9 months; Now it’s important to reconnect to this muscle and learn to cue it. Strengthening the TA is what will help you reach your goals of a pre-baby flat belly.

Start by laying on your back with yours knees bent, as you get stronger you will be able to perform TA activation in any position. Keep a neutral spine (small space between low back and the floor). Place your hands on your stomach so that your finger tips are just inside your hip bone. Take a deep breath into your belly, watching that your stomach rises with your breath, not your chest. As you exhale, engage your deep core as if you’re trying to bring your belly button down to your spine. You do not want your central abdominal muscle to protrude upward. When the TA is activated you want to maintain normal breathing. Begin by holding this activation for 5 seconds and repeating 10 times. Add a second a week until you are able to hold for 10 seconds.