Post pregnancy bodies are special. They've done a wonderful thing giving birth, and they need looking after kindly.
Dr. Salim is my GP. She has been a medical doctor for 20 years and a GP for 11, all the mums in my community love her and so do our babies!
Dr. Salim has worked for most of her career with new mums and babies. Every month she does about ten of the famous "6-week checks". She makes sure mums feel well and recovery is going as it should. She gives lots of new mums advice on how we can look after ourselves properly in the first few months of motherhood.
Dr. Salim meets many mums who forget about themselves while all the focus is on baby. She offered to share her experience and advice with new mums through my blog.
Katy: What kind of support do you give new mums after birth?
Dr. Salim: I offer my patients an appointment as early as they want after giving birth. Lots come to see me before their 6-week check. They may have worries, be feeling low, have problems sleeping or back-pain, wee when they sneeze... or they just come to ask me "How can my tummy look so slack and horrible?!".
At 6-weeks I check their weight, urine, blood pressure, any stitches, uterus size and muscle recovery from the birth. I ask whether mums have had a period (most mums have not), discuss contraception, emotions and any worries about incontinence. I always ask "Is there anything else you are worried about?".
In the early days I give mums information about their pelvic floor and how to activate it. I explain how to pull in the transverse abdominals.
Katy: So when should new mums think about getting active?
Dr. Salim: Many mums wait too long. It is almost always helpful to start doing gentle activity right after birth. Most women don't realise the importance of their pelvic floor. Invest in your body at this time - for the future.
I believe in walking and once bleeding has stopped I also think swimming is great for new mums.
I distinguish between proper exercise and gentle activity.