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Exercise overview

Ideally this information should be used in conjunction with instruction from a Chartered Physiotherapist in Women’s Health.

Looking after your back

Pregnancy results in gradual changes in the body, which do not return immediately to normal, but regular exercise will help you regain your strength.

It is common to develop low back pain, shoulder and upper spine tenderness and stiffness during and after pregnancy. This may be due to changing body shape, weakness of muscles, and increased demands placed on your body with the new arrival.

It can take up to five months for the ligaments to fully tighten up after the baby’s delivery, so adherence to good posture in all activities of daily living is vital. To help encourage correct muscle activation and reduced joint strain, try practising some of the following techniques:

Good Posture is important – sit, stand and walk tall.

Postnatal exercise - good posture

When feeding your baby, sit tall, preferably on an armchair, with arms and shoulders relaxed. A small footstool under your feet, and a small roll at the small of your back, will ensure your back is well-supported.

Feeding an infant correct position

When getting out of bed, bend both knees, press them together and roll over onto your side before sitting up. Reverse to lie down.

Postnatal exercise getting out of bed

Avoid any unnecessary lifting and take smaller loads. Avoid bending forward postures when caring for your baby as repeatedly doing this will cause wear and tear on your back. When lifting, always use your leg muscles to do the work.

Postnatal exercises lifting and bending positions

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