Congratulations on your new baby! Now that you’ve started to recover from
labor and birth, you may feel ready to do some post-pregnancy exercises.
The exercises described here are gentle and safe for most women. Once your
doctor gives you the green light, you can start off with these basics.
These internal squeezes help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If
you've just given birth, Kegels are helpful for improving bladder control,
tightening the vagina, and healing the perineum.
How to do Kegel exercises
First, locate your pelvic floor muscles by trying to stop your flow of
urine while going to the bathroom. Now, contract those muscles. Hold the
contraction for three seconds and then relax for three seconds. Repeat 10
These exercises are effective for regaining abdominal strength and
realigning your pelvis after pregnancy. Picture your pelvis like a bucket:
When your baby grew, the bucket tilted forward (called an anterior pelvic
tilt). Your goal now is get your pelvis back into a neutral position.
How to do pelvic tilts
Lie down on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Draw in your
abdominals without squeezing your glutes (the big muscles in your butt).
Tilt the pelvis back so the small of your back is pressed against the
floor. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Targeting your shoulder blades — the scapulae — is a great way to improve
your posture. If you find yourself hunching over your new baby all the
time, doing these retractions regularly will help realign your shoulders.
How to do shoulder retractions
Sit or stand with your spine and head erect (your ears should be in line
with your shoulders). Squeeze your shoulder blades back and together as if
cracking a walnut between them. Hold for one second and release. Repeat 15
times, three times per day.