When can I return to exercise after childbirth?
Here is our final blog in this Women’s Health series with Eimear Lynch. It is a huge area of physiotherapy and one which we will certainly return to at a later date. The purpose of this series was to give you a taste of what physiotherapy has to offer ladies with these issues. Below Eimear outlines three simple tests to help you gauge whether you are ready to begin exercising again after child birth.
Post pregnancy exercise….am I ready? Everyone knows the importance of exercise in pregnancy and there’s no better group of women to keep fit than those with bumps. However the most frequent question I get asked is what can I do now that my baby is born, and the bump is gone? Women are eager to tone up their tummies and lose the little bit of weight gained in pregnancy, but are often nervous about returning sport. Below are a few tips to help you assess your readiness for return to activity.
1. Curl Up Test Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the floor keeping your chin tucked in. Using your fingers feel for the borders of the muscles along the middle of your tummy. Is there a ‘soft’ gap or separation of these muscles?
Online Tummy Check video at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheBumpRoom
2. Leg lift test Lie on your back with legs out straight. Lift one leg off the floor a few inches and lower. Repeat on opposite side. Note during the test; • Does either leg feel heavier or harder to lift? • Is there any pain when lifting either leg? • Is there any visible bulging of the tummy when lifting either leg?
3. Pelvic floor test •Feel your pelvic floor (at the opening of your vagina). Is there descent or bulging out when you cough? . Is there any leakage when you cough or sneeze?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, then contact the clinic and make an appointment with Eimear, or if you want to speak to Eimear privately then you can contact her on 0863576823.
As always use a little common sense, build your fitness and strength up gradually to help you return to full activity. You’ve had a long off season, so have patience and take your time building back up to your pre pregnancy fitness or sport. P.s. Changing nappies is not considered a sport…but I often think it should be!