Recovering From Vaginal Birth Postpartum Protocol

Pregnancy and birth are extreme physical events. Many liken them to a marathon, which is true in the sense that they feel like a long, low-level slog...

But you can recover from a marathon in a couple of weeks.

This is not the case for pregnancy and birth.

Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. Birth is an extremely rapid change to the body in comparison to the pregnancy.

Not to mention physical trauma that may have occurred during the birth.

Thus, a slow and loving rehabilitation after pregnancy is in order!

I will outline the first 3 months here, but remember it's a YEAR of healing time. Be kind to yourself.

If you feel pressure to achieve a postpartum weight loss goal, explore that. Why is that? What are you believing about yourself, your body, and the scale?

What are you making that number mean mama?

As you begin your postpartum journey, remember you are worthy of love (especially your love), exactly as you are. Right here, right now.

Day 1 Postpartum

  • Gentle lower abdominal activation on the exhale

  • Donut cushion if there was tearing during birth

  • Relaxation of pelvic floor on toilet for peeing and bowel movements

  • Leafy greens and stool softener for first bowel movement

Weeks 1-5 Postpartum

  • Progress core activation exercises

  • Gentle walking

  • Shoulder and upper back mobility and stretching

  • Core engagement when lifting older children

  • Kegels can begin if pain-free/minimal tearing (ask your pelvic floor PT if this is right for you).

Weeks 6-8 Postpartum

  • Internal exam from you pelvic floor PT

  • Follow up with MD/midwife for stitching/tearing

  • Progress core activation

  • Begin scar tissue massage if tearing is healed

  • Gentle non-weight bearing cardio (swimming/cycling/walking)

Weeks 9-12 Postpartum

  • Gently progress core and hip stability

  • Scar tissue massage

  • Continue shoulder and upper body mobility

  • Begin training plyometrics for return to running

Three Months Postpartum

  • Can begin high impact exercise like running

  • Gentle slow, short distances at first

  • Listen to your body

  • Build up slowly, week by week

  • If any problems arise (prolapse, incontinence, pain) have them addressed by a pelvic floor PT ASAP.

Follow this video playlist for core progressions!

If you need more information or would like to work with me directly, click here to schedule your free consult!

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