Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor muscles constitute a vital set of deep muscles within the pelvis that provide support to the pelvic organs and contribute to bladder and bowel control. Engaging in these exercises is crucial for your postpartum recovery following childbirth.

This information was supplied with the help of The Women's Royal Hospital Australia and Dr. Hannah Strom of Awake Pelvic Health and Wellness.

Postpartum Movement 0-2 Weeks

During this phase, you can choose to either lie on your back with your knees bent or lie on your side. Engage in a gentle contraction of the muscles around your vagina and anus, as if you are closing them. If you experience any discomfort, stop immediately. Hold the contraction for a maximum of three seconds, then slowly release. Take a five-second relaxation break before repeating the exercise, aiming for up to 10 repetitions. Perform this exercise routine three times per day.

Postpartum Movement 2-4 Weeks

You will now experience increased confidence in exercising your pelvic floor muscles and can gradually intensify your workouts.Assume the position lying on your back (as mentioned earlier) or on your hands and knees. Contract the muscles around your vagina and anus as strongly as possible, feeling the lift of your pelvic floor muscles inside you. Hold this contraction for three to six seconds, then release and feel the muscles relax. Repeat this sequence 10 times, allowing a five-second relaxation period between each repetition. Perform this exercise routine three times daily.

Postpartum Movement 4-6 Weeks

Advance your exercise program by focusing on stronger contractions and longer holds. Strive to maintain the contraction for five to ten seconds and perform ten repetitions. Incorporate various positions, such as sitting and standing, when repeating this exercise routine three times a day. Additionally, remember to engage your pelvic floor muscles when coughing or lifting. Also, when you go to your 6 week postpartum appointment ask for a referral to pelvic floor physical therapy to help you continue strengthening and optimizing your pelvic floor. PFPTs can also work with you on scar massage, pain management strategies including for sex, and ensure you are ready to resume your regular exercise routine. See our peer recommended providers section to find an exceptional PFPT in your area.