When you are pregnant, you are under the watchful eye of your physician. Afterwards, aside from a few checkups, you are left alone to figure it out. We spoke to the author of “Baby Bod,” physical therapist Marianne Ryan, who says like other moms, she had back pain and a weak bladder for years after giving birth. Therefore, she came up with an exercise program she says you can start right after you deliver.
"Studies have shown six years, ten years, even twenty years later, women develop things like incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and I believe a lot of that can be prevented if there's proper care right from day one," Ryan says.
Ryan's program is detailed “Baby Bod,” and she says it is so gentle that even if you have a C section, you can start it the next day.
"I teach them certain things like breathing exercises, some very gentle pelvic floor exercises and postural restoration exercises," she says.
Her program also involves exercises that you can start before giving birth - to make it a bit easier - and core exercises for immediately after delivery.
"They start doing what I call the pelvic core starter, not the Kegel exercise, because it's involved with breathing, certain types of breathing and also holding your body in certain positions to get your core muscles to work most optimally, and to start doing Kegel-like contractions while in this position," Ryan says.
Many new moms also deal with back pain and other issues they do not necessarily feel comfortable talking about.
"I teach them how to lift the baby, how to get out of bed ahead of time so that they're not putting too much pressure on their belly or their pelvic floor,” Ryan says. “Simple things like how to use the toilet after birth so that you're not straining muscles."
She says new moms have to be patient with their body. The pregnancy hormones do not just disappear when you give birth.
"It can take about three months for them to rebalance again, and while the pregnancy hormones are in the body, you tend to be looser," Ryan says.
She says while everyone is different and some women recover quicker, it typically takes a few months for you to get back to your pre-baby body.