Exercise after forceps
Forceps delivery is likely to leave you feeling a little, let's say, uncomfortable. Not only that, but it can cause incontinence for a little while. There are some exercises after forceps delivery that are an absolute must, and some you might want to avoid for a little while, until you feel healed and ready.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Forcep delivery means that you'd likely have had an episiotomy and maybe a tear too. As I was being stitched up I remember the doctor talking to me about my pelvic floor exercises and the importance of them. However, he did say leave it a few days before you start them.
The day after I had Ida I tried to do one pelvic floor exercise. One squeeze. But I couldn't even feel a connection. It was totally gone. I googled it and wrote in forums imagining it never coming back and what life might look like.
Every day when I was going for a nap I would try and do 10 pelvic floor squeezes. Just short ones. Eventually after about a week I was confident in feeling a connection. The trick is to do them little and often. Even if you feel zero connection at all. That is TOTALLY normal. Your pelvic floor has been through a real tough time when you have forceps.
You can get some great apps that help you to remember to do them and guide you in how long to hold the squeeze for. You just need to make sure that you fully release before you squeeze again.
A few days after you give birth with intervention you might be up to walking. It is very normal to leak a little wee at this point, your pelvic floor is not recovered or strong. Now isn't the time for power walking or running. A walk around the block with the pushchair will probably be enough. First time we went for a walk was 3 days after having Ida and I think we managed to the end of the road and back before I felt too much pressure in my pelvic floor.
I wouldn't start these until you are about 2 weeks pp after forceps. However, they're a great way to being to strengthen your bum muscles and you can do them lying on the floor! For extra work for the pelvic floor squeeze a ball, bottle or pilates ball between your knees with each hip raise.
Mini band penguin walk
Placing a mini band between the arches of your feet, waddle like a penguin. Do this for 30 sec-1 minute to help build up strength in your hips, which can become weak in pregnancy. Again, you might want to wait until a few weeks post baby to think about these.
Exercise to avoid in the early days after forceps delivery:
You probably won't be thinking about exercise right away with a new baby to look after and very little energy, it is important to wait that 6 weeks (or longer - 3 months for running) to allow your body to heal as best it can.
After forceps you might still feel a tightness or pulling sensation in your scar for months after your baby was born. I found that my pelvis ached and felt bruised for some time after.
Here are some exercises that you might want to avoid until you feel healed and your foundations and core are built up:
- High impact (burpees/squat jumps/star jumps)
- Heavy weight lifting
- Wide squats
- Contact sport
- Cycling as sitting on the bike might feel uncomfortable! (I remember sitting on mine at about 5 weeks pp and wasn't quite ready!) Same could be said for horse riding too actually.
If you have had an assisted delivery and are unsure where to start your with exercise, drop me a message and I will share how I could help you.