It’s no secret that during pregnancy your body will change form to accommodate for the little bundle of joy growing inside of you. Bouncing back to your pre-baby figure starts, believe it or not, during pregnancy. Mater Mothers’ Hospital’s number one tip is to rest and move well during pregnancy to make sure you get your pre-baby body back.
If your tummy is bulging or “coning” when lifting, getting out of bed and leaning backwards, it means you are straining your tummy too much. Reducing excess strain will help protect your tummy and pelvic floor muscles from overstretch during pregnancy and help you recover after your baby’s birth. Below are some more tips to maintaining your figure post-pregnancy.
1. Get in and out of bed by rolling through your side. Do not perform a sit up action.
2. Do not do “sit ups” as an exercise during pregnancy. Ask your physiotherapist for some safer alternatives.
3. Always maintain your breathing when moving to reduce strain on your tummy and pelvic floor.
4. Keep your bowel movements soft. Straining to open your bowels will cause your muscles unnecessary stress. More information regarding good bladder and bowel habits is available via the Mater Mothers’ brochure site.
5. Avoid heavy lifting. To determine if an object is within your safe lifting limit, make sure you can maintain a good posture, keep breathing and not feel or see and bulging in your tummy or pelvic floor.
6. Avoid slouching. Correcting your posture will help to improve the tone in all of your core muscles, including your abdomen and pelvic floor.
7. Bend your hips and knees (not your back) when you lift. Avoiding slouching will help to improve the tone in your core muscles, even while you are doing housework. It will also help to improve the stability in your back and pelvic joints and should reduce any discomfort that you may have.
8. Increase your general exercise. It is recommended during pregnancy that 30 minutes of moderate low impact exercise is performed most days of the week. Exercise gives you and your baby great benefits, including increased muscle tone of your abdomen and pelvic floor. For more information about Mater Mothers’ Hospital exercise in pregnancy classes see Physiotherapy During Pregnancy.
9. Practice pelvic floor muscle exercises. There is a link between your pelvic floor and deep tummy muscles. For information about how correctly perform these exercises, visit Continence Foundation of Australia website.
10. Remember these tips for after you have had your baby, they will help after your birth and beyond.
If you are concerned about stretch marks during your pregnancy we recommend using Mater Body Balm for pregnancy to help promote softness and elasticity and help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Look on the Mater Mothers Hospital brochures website for further information about:
• Physiotherapy hints for resting and moving well in pregnancy
• Before & After (A Physiotherapy guide)
• Pregnancy – information for women and families (physical changes during pregnancy including comfort positions)
• MMH Physiotherapy brochures – pelvic joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, thumb and wrist pain, vulval varicosities, perineal massage
Phone Mater Mother’s Hospital Physiotherapy (Allied Health reception) on (07) 3163 6000 for further assistance.