How amazing that women can experience the oldest thing there is known to humans- giving life! We can feel it growing inside of us, to me (never having been pregnant) maybe a little scary but mainly just miraculous!
Over the course of about 40 weeks a woman's body goes through tremendous amount of change- hormonal(!), weight gain, posture change, organs get moved around and so forth... but most importantly a little human-being is formed and grows inside the uterus. This means, that the uterus grows with the baby and after a woman gives birth, the uterus shrinks back down to pre pregnancy size. Normally it takes up to 10 days, cesareans up to 14 days.
Here are some 'exercises' you can do to quicken this process, these are not post natal exercises as you would do them at a gym, these are very soft exercises you can already do on your first day after giving birth (for cesarean births please see below)
Post-birth 'Exercises' for a complication free birth, for births with episiotomies (if not otherwise stated by your physician, Episiotomies Grade 1, 2 you can start on the third day post birth. Grade 3- you can start on day 6 post birth. Always talk to your physician to be safe)
- Lay on your back and close your eyes, hands placed on your stomach
- take a deep breath into your nose and out of your mouth (this revs up your circulation which in turn increases blood flow to your uterus and perhaps you can feel your uterus contracting, a good sign! it means its working itself down to normal size! ps more women feel it with their 2nd child) repeat mornings and nights 10 times
Getting feeling back into that pelvis
- Lie on your back
- bend your knees and bring your feet onto the bed/matt
- place your thumbs on either side of the bottom of your ribcage (right thumb right side, left thumb left side)
- place your index or middle finger on your hip bone (also right-right, left-left)
- now tilt (very slowly and controlled) your pelvis upwards towards your face so that the space between your thumb and index/middle finger gets smaller
- and back down
- don't forget to breathe
Repeat 10 times a day
- still lying on your back, knees bent, feet on floor/matt, hip width apart, knees apart
- with every exhale through your mouth suck in your belly button as if you want to reach your spine with it. inhale- relax. exhale- suck in. it is crucial you do it with your breath, please do not hold your breath.
Repeat 3-4 times and build up each day. If you feel good and strong, add lifting your head up and bring your chin to your chest.
Lying on your belly exercise
This is a really nice exercise (especially for women with episiotomies, it takes the pressure off) you can lie on your stomach again! WHAAAT! nice!
- put a pillow right underneath your chin so lying on your stomach doesn't hurt your breasts
- role up a towel, thin blanket, small cushion and put it between your belly button and your pubic bone
- lay down on your belly
- breathe deeply, relax and stay for about 10-20 min
Repeat daily how ever often you want and have time
Breastfeeding increases the mother's oxytocin levels which makes the uterus contract quicker (so... shrink). Breast feeding is also the simplest way to feed your baby, all the nutrients it needs for the first months are in mamas milk, no heating required, no cooling after over-heating, no factory-man-made nutrition, breast milk already has some of the immune boosting nutrients from the mom, no extra bottles needed, it is bonding between mother and child, as you can see the list is on-going. Breastfeeding also helps the child in their mouth-motorik skills (for its speech) thought that was interesting!
Tips and exercises for cesarean births:
- from the day after until about day 3 of having the operation, it is really important that you have one hand on the wound when moving, especially if you want to roll over onto your side
- when you roll over, try to roll over upper body and lower body simultaneously. For instance you want to roll over to your left side, you bend your knees and bring your feet one after the other onto the bed, your right arm reaches over to your left shoulder (if you can grab the bed frame on that side it helps too) and you turn your legs and torso at the same time whilst EXHALING
- When you need to cough, sneeze, laugh, always turn your head and upper back to one side, slightly press on your wound
- Day 1 you can already do the breathing exercises above if you don't feel pain doing them
- It is important to keep your legs moving, so pump those feet as if you are pedalling a bike and bend one knee after the other once in a while. This revs up blood circulation and it prevents thrombosis after a surgery (you might also get socks from the hospital or injections to prevent thrombosis)
- You can start the exercises listed above on day 3 post surgery
- After about two weeks you can start massaging your scar. Always push the skin towards the incision, then lift your fingers and push the skin again. Do not push and pull apart.
- Remember to take it easy, even though you might not feel hurt for long, the body needs time to fully heal!
AND OH MY GAWD YOU HAVE A BABAY!!!!! yip yip hurray!