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Exercises

     

  Right after the birth, you need to rest.  You really need to rest, (except for                                                                                                        walking) for the first 2 weeks.  No lifting, except for the baby- It is ok to stand                                                                                                     at the sink or the  stove and do dishes or some light cooking, but actual work-                                                                                                      do not do.  It is ok and actually good for you to go for a short walk.  This                                                                                                          should not be a brisk walk, as that would be like work-but a slow easy walk.

If you had stitches, then you need to avoid lifting for at least 6 weeks. If you did not have stitches, some light lifting after 2 weeks is fine.  The more work you do, the more you may bleed.  You may bleed on and off for 6 weeks, but you should not bleed heavily-it should be more like spotting.  If the blood is ever bright red, then you have done too much work.

After 4-6 weeks, you can begin to walk a bit more,  walks around the block or a nice walk in the park.  You will know if you have done too much-you will be very tired.  Remember that your joints and ligaments will still be loose for about three to five months, so actually you are at risk for hurting yourself if you do too much.  Walking is good so your do not develop blood clots by just sitting around the house.

Often a gap in your abdominal muscles develop as your belly expands during pregnancy and labor. It takes approximately four to eight weeks after giving birth for this gap to close.

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.

  • Place the fingers of your one of your hands, palm facing you, just above your belly button. Place the other hand on your upper thigh

  • Take a breath in and then exhale. As you exhale, lift your head and shoulders off the floor and slide your right hand up your thigh toward your knee. This will make your abdominal muscles tighten, and you should be able to feel the gap where the muscles have separated.

If the gap is three or more finger widths, you will need to begin doing  exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Once the gap narrows to only one or two finger widths, you can start doing crunches or sit-ups.

Start with the following:

Pelvic tilt

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.                   

  • Inhale and allow your abdomen to expand.

  • Exhale and lift your tailbone toward your navel, keeping your hips on the floor.

  • At the top of the tilt, tighten your buttocks, then release. Repeat eight to ten times.

 

Leg slide

  • On the floor, Lie with your back with your knees bent

  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and press the small of your back against the floor as you breathe out.

  • Slide both legs away from your body slowly, using your abdominal muscles to keep your back flat on the floor.

  • When your back starts to arch, bring your legs back to the start position — keep your stomach tight. Repeat eight to 10 times.

  • Pay attention to your breathing throughout this exercise. Remember to tighten your abdominal muscles and flatten your back before you start sliding your legs away from you. As your stomach muscles strengthen, you’ll find you can push out your legs farther.

CRUNCHES

  • While on the floor, with knees bent place your hands behind your head elbows out and look at the ceiling

  • Keep your eyes on the ceiling, and keep your elbows out.  Do not allow them to come towards your face as you do this lift.

 

  • Also do not use your hands to lift your head.  They are there for support only.

  • lift your head until your feel the crunch in your abdomen

  • count to 10 or 20 then lower your head

  • repeat until your feel a burn in your abdomen then push past the burn for 5 more crunches.  each day add more as your become stronger.

KEGAL

  • The muscle you are to squeeze is the same one that you would squeeze to stop urinating. You should not do this exercise though when you urinating. That can cause urine to stay in the bladder and result in a UTI.

  • You squeeze the muscle-hold to the count of 10 and release.  Repeat this 10 times and do

  • 10 sets like this each day.

 

WHAT ABOUT SEX DURING PREGNANCY                                                    

The following are a few of the most asked questions from couples.

 

Is it normal to feel like making love or not, during pregnancy?

Some people do and some don't. The increased blood flow to the genitals (female private area) can

cause some women to feel more aroused (excited). If there are no medical reasons and if it doesn't go

against your personal or religious beliefs, go ahead and enjoy love making. Satisfying sexual activity can be relaxing and make you feel closer to your husband.

Is it normal to feel turned off during my wife's pregnancy?

At the beginning and at the end of pregnancy, sometimes women do not feel like having sex, and are sometimes turned off by the thought of sex. Sometimes men may also feel this way. Sometimes they are afraid of hurting the baby. This is normal. You should still spend time together, even if there is no sex involved. You are husband and wife, and the relationship needs daily work. Sit out on the porch swing in the evening, watch the sun set, sit on the couch together as you watch a movie. Take a walk in the park, or go for a drive in the country. (Without the other children so you can be alone) Just spend some time together.

She does not look sexy to me right now, and I think she looks funny.

Some men are afraid they will hurt the baby or their wife. So they restrain themselves from being physically intimate with their wife. Others really do find their pregnant wife very unattractive. Men, discuss this with your wife, gently. Don't hurt her with your words. Caution men: never make her feel ugly or unattractive. If you don't find her to be sexy, because she is gaining weight, then search your own hearts attitude. She is pregnant with your baby. Choose your words carefully.

Can we hurt the baby, or break the bag of waters?

Well if you do have sex, please be careful. The mucous plug and the bag of waters protect the baby. If there is bleeding prior to making love, or any fluid leaking, do not have sex. Call your care provider! If one of these things happen after you have sex, be honest with your care giver when you call her. Don't be afraid to tell her you just had sex. It will help her to diagnose what has happened. Usually sex does not cause these things to happen. Sex does not cause premature labor in a healthy pregnancy, but if you are past your due date and the cervix is getting ready, then intercourse resulting in orgasm and with nipple stimulation can be a way to help get labor started.