Postpartum Wellness

Getting back into shape after having a baby takes time and patience. Our certified staff is here to get you motivated and moving in the right direction.

We offer nutritional counseling, fitness classes, personal training, therapy and Spa Services located in our beautiful Woman's Center for Wellness.

Set Realistic Expectations

Don't expect to return immediately to your pre-pregnancy figure. Even though you may have dropped 20 pounds with childbirth, you probably won't fit into your old clothes right away. It takes weeks for your uterus to fully contract and your stomach to flatten.

You'll also need to be patient with physical changes, such as vaginal and breast soreness and painful bowel movements. Ask your physician for help with these issues.

Gradually Return to Exercise

Each day, try to do 10 to 15 minutes of a mild physical activity. Start slowly and don't overdo. Ask your doctor if you should avoid any activity. If you notice pain in your pelvis or changes in the color or amount of vaginal discharge, stop exercising and call your doctor.

Strengthening Abdominal Muscles

Childbirth weakens your abdominal muscles. Gentle exercises for the stomach, such as pelvic-tilting and abdominal tightening, should begin 24 hours after you have your baby. Do not do full sit-ups or exercises that involve raising or lowering both legs at the same time.

Kegel Exercises

Start doing Kegels now and keep doing them for the rest of your pregnancy, especially after childbirth. Kegel exercises tone your pelvic floor muscles, which become stretched from the weight of the baby during pregnancy and vaginal delivery.

The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus and rectum. Strengthening these muscles helps:

  • Prevents the leakage of urine or bowel contents.
  • Heals the perineum (area between the anus and the vulva).
  • Tightens the vagina.

To perform a Kegel:

  • Squeeze the muscles that you use to stop the flow of urine.
  • Hold the squeeze for up to 10 seconds, then release.
  • Do this 10 to 20 times in a row at least three times a day.

Exercise Classes

Are you a new mom looking to get strong and fit after delivery? Our postnatal classes encourage bonding time with your baby while you work to return to your pre-pregnancy fitness level.

Nutrition

Good nutrition helps your body heal. Eating a variety of foods helps you get all of the nutrients your body needs to recover from labor and delivery.

For moms feeding their baby with a bottle, follow this food guide:

  • six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta
  • two to four servings of fruit
  • three to five servings of vegetables
  • two to three servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts
  • two to three servings of milk, yogurt and cheese

Adjust the number of servings within each food group for a gradual return to a healthy body weight. Eat fats, oils and sweets sparingly.

To prevent dehydration and promote healing, drink eight to twelve 8 oz glasses of water every day.

If you are breastfeeding, follow the dietary recommendations in the nutrition section of the Breastfeeding Guide [pdf]. You may also call Woman's Food and Nutrition Services at 924-8451 for more information.

Postpartum Moods

In some women, the hormonal changes can lead to a wide range of postpartum moods and conditions including baby blues, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and OCD, and postpartum psychosis. Know symptoms, when to get help and treatment options.