The following exercises and advice will help you
get back in shape after you have had a baby. They are also appropriate if you have a had a
ceasarian section. Remember to start gently and progress
essential to look after your pelvic floor muscles as strengthening them can prevent you developing
incontinence problems. Keeping them in tone can help to avoid bladder and womb prolapse in later
life. initially exercising them could help reduce discomfort and swelling so it is advisable you
start them gently the day after you have given birth. Once you have identified the muscles you
should continue to exercise them daily for the rest of your life.
start to tone up your stomach muscles as soon as you feel well enough. Start with the deep muscles
(Level 1) as they reduce the strain on yor back and pelvic floor. Once they are strong you can
progress to working the outer muscles (Level 2).
the deepest muscles of the stomach, which acts like a corset. It stabilises the spine and pelvis,
helps flatten your stomach and draws in your waist line.
For the first 6 weeks you should exercise in a
comfortable position, with a pillow between your knees. You may choose to lie on your side.
alterternatively you may lie on your back with a pillow under your head, your knees bent and
feet flat on your floor bed.
- Let your tummy sag,
breath in gently
- As you breath out,
gently draw in the lower part of your stomach, squeezing your pelvic floor muscles as
- Let go
Once your are comfortable exercising the deep muscles
you can progress to Level 2 of the programme.
- Lie in the position
shown and perform the deep stomach exercises.
- Gently squeeze your
pelvic floor and buttocks, tilt your pelvis up and flatten your back on the floor or
- Hold this position for a
maximum of 10 seconds
- Perform a pelvic
- Squeeze you pelvic floor
- Lift your head
- Hold for a few
- Rest for a few
How to progress the exercise
Once you feel confident with the head
lift, you can progress be
- Prolonging the hold, up to
a maximum of 10 seconds-keep breathing!
- Raising your head and
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as
you do the exercise
- Do not continue if your stomach bulges
while your exercise
- Do not exercise if you feel tired or
- It may take several weeks before you
progress to Level 2 - this is nothing to worry about.
Caring for your
It is vital that you take good care of your
back as it is particularly vulnerable at this time. This is because your stomach muscles have been
stretched during pregnancy and are providing less support for your back. See