Congratulations on your new little one! Giving birth is an absolute miracle, but it can also take a toll on your body, especially your pelvic floor muscles. Many new moms wonder how long it takes to strengthen these muscles after giving birth. Well, you're in luck, because this comprehensive guide will walk you through what to expect, the steps to take, and give you a realistic time frame for your recovery.
How Long Does It Take To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles After Birth Table of Contents
It's no secret that giving birth requires your body to undergo significant changes during pregnancy and delivery. Your pelvic floor muscles, located at the base of your pelvis, are crucial for supporting your bladder, uterus, rectum, and other surrounding organs. When these muscles become weakened or damaged during childbirth, it can result in various issues, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, or painful intercourse. Random leaks and discomfort are not exactly the icing on the cake of motherhood, so let's jump into what you can do to help rebuild and rejuvenate your pelvic floor strength.
One of the keys to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles after birth is patience. While you may be eager to bounce back, allowing your body proper time to heal is crucial. Below are a few essential steps to incorporate into your healing process, which will aid in rebuilding your pelvic floor strength:
Begin with gradual and gentle movement
Once you have clearance from your healthcare provider, slowly ease into light activities that can assist with blood circulation and stretching your pelvic muscles. This may include gentle walks, rolling your hips on a birthing ball, or practicing Yin yoga.
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Practice pelvic floor exercises
The most common exercises to help build strength are kegel exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Imagine that you are stopping the stream of urine without assistance from your abdominal, buttock, or inner thigh muscles. Hold the contraction for at least three seconds, then relax for an equal amount of time. Start with approximately ten repetitions, trying to repeat this three times a day.
Engage in deep belly breathing
Proper breathing not only stimulates the relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles but also activates your diaphragm, which in turn helps stabilize your pelvic region. Practice deep and slow breaths, expanding your abdomen and releasing tension in your pelvic muscles.
Seek professional help if needed
A pelvic health physical therapist can provide personalized assessment and treatment for your pelvic floor issues. They can provide individualized exercises and guidance that may speed up the recovery process and address any specific concerns.
How Long Does It Take To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles After Birth Example
Take Michelle, a new mom who was experiencing urinary incontinence after giving birth to her first child. Michelle began practicing kegel exercises as early as two weeks postpartum, gradually increasing her repetitions while incorporating gentle movements such as walking and low-impact yoga. With this consistent dedication to her healing, Michelle saw an improvement in her pelvic floor strength by her 8-week postpartum check-up. Although everyone's journey is unique, Michelle's proactive approach showcases the power of patience and persistence.
Rebuilding your pelvic floor strength after birth is not a quick overnight fix, but taking the appropriate steps and allowing your body time to heal will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. The length of time for recovery varies from one person to another, but most women will notice improvements within six weeks to three months, with full recovery commonly achieved by six months. During this time, remember that self-care and dedication to your healing play significant roles in your overall well-being.
If this guide has enlightened or inspired you, then please share it with your new mom friends or those who are expecting. Stay tuned for more essential guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy, and here's to a stronger, healthier you!