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Stretching and Strengthening Exercises After Your Baby Is Born

(En español, presione aquí)

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises After Your Baby Is Born, Page 1: Illustration
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises After Your Baby Is Born, Page 1: IllustrationClick here to view a full size picture.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises After Your Baby Is Born, Page 2: Illustration
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises After Your Baby Is Born, Page 2: IllustrationClick here to view a full size picture.

The first 6 strengthening and stretching exercises can be done right away if your provider says it’s OK and you carefully follow any precautions.

When your healthcare provider says it’s OK, you can start strengthening your abdominal muscles by adding these exercises:

Another important exercise after pregnancy is the Kegel exercise. It strengthens your pelvic muscles. You can do Kegels anywhere--while you sit at a desk, wait for a bus, wash dishes, drive a car, wait in line, or watch TV. No one will know you are doing them. Here's how you do them:

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Reference Sources:

Mason L, Glenn S, Walton I, Hughes C. The relationship between between ante-natal pelvic floor muscle exercises and post-partum stress incontinence. Physiotherapy [serial online]. December 2001;87(12):651. Available from: CINAHL with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 23, 2011.

Norman E, Sherburn M, Osborne RH, Galea MP. An exercise and education program improves well-being of new mothers: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther. 2010 Mar;90(3):348-55.

Teyhen DS, Rieger JL, Westrick RB, Miller AC, Molloy JM, Childs JD.Changes in deep abdominal muscle thickness during common trunk-strengthening exercises using ultrasound imaging. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008 Oct;38(10):596-605.


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Last Modified: 2012-10-31

Last Reviewed: 2012-05-01

Website Updated: March 2014

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.


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