Returning to exercise after birth. Postnatal Pilates Part One

Laughing oc and Hayley

Welcome to phase one of this postnatal rehab programme

Firstly congratulations on the birth of your baby and secondly, well done for finding time for you! This is a huge step.

Returning to exercise after birth can be not quite what you expected. Tricky to fit it in around the babe, not sure what you can do or when to do it and let's not even mention that your body isn't doing what it you ask it to do.

In this early postpartum Pilates programme start from the very beginning checking in with yourself and meeting you where you are at. This I think is one of the most important things to do before you embark on your postnatal recovery programme. It is very easy to fixate on where you were at before you were pregnant but now you have had a baby its important to understand there is a process of rehabilitation that should be done in order to ensure a fast and good recovery.


Returning to exercise can be especially so if you have had a c-section. You might need a slightly different approach if you have had a section. If you have had a section this programme will be safe for you. I would recommend staying in phase one until you are 6-8 weeks and have been signed off by your doctor or a physio has advise you can do more.

It should be said that no matter what birth you have had it is important to seek professional support if you have any concerns, pain or discomfort.

So let's get cracking :)

Welcome to your postpartum rehab programme.

A brief introduction to your postnatal rehabilitation program. We explain what to expect, how long it might take, signs and symptoms to look for and how to monitor your progress. Most importantly Octavia encourages you to be kind and patient with yourself.

8 mins


Part One - standing assessment

A quick once over to assess posture, dynamic mobility and strength. It is always nice getting a base line measure and this way you can see your progress. Some gentle stretches at the end too.

10 mins

Part Two - Diastasis Assessment

Checking for diastasis is a very important thing to do before you start exercise. This will guide you moving forwards in you exercise program. You can still exercise with a diastasis but there may be some modifications to consider. All early rehab programmes on this platform are safe for a diastasis recti (DR)

5 mins

Part Three - Pelvic Floor Assessment

Two quick and easy tests to assess how you pelvic floor is working. The gold standard is to have an internal examination and a full postural and functional assessment but this isn't always affordable or accessible so Octavia talks you through a simple assessment.

15 mins

Part Four - Stretch

Postnatal Rehab: Phase One: Reconnecting and Breathwork: Part 4: Stretch

11 mins

Part Five - Reconnect and Activate

This is where we slowdown and breathe and fire up the tummy for the first time. A critical part of recovery. Resetting the breath in lying is a great way to get the pelvic floor to resent with the diaphragm, something that is very important for good core control. The breathing helps with gentle activation of the abdominals.

This is a great video if you have had a c-section. It is safe to breath and do light activationIt is a gentle beginning to scar massage using the breath to getting things moving inside.

8 mins

Part Six - Lower Abs

Postnatal Rehab: Phase One: Reconnecting and Breathwork Part 6: Lower Abs

20 mins

Part Seven - Side Lie

Starting to wake up the glutes and open the thoracic spine. A gentle start to strengthening core and a stretch too. Foundation.

15 mins

Part Eight - Four Point Kneeling

Coming into four point kneeling is a great way to start to engage the core. Getting the shoulders to start to do some work too and as always a lovely upper back stretch.

Foundation. 16 mins

Part Nine - Standing

An important part of rehabilitation is being functional. Coming up into standing is a great way of putting it all together in a meaningful way. Also great as you can do them anywhere.

16 mins

We hope you have found this programme helpful. The recommendation is you would stay at this level until you feel you have good control are able to complete all of the exercises easily. This will be different for all of you as .. guess what.. you are all individuals.

If you feel ready.. Head to Returning to exercise after birth. Part two.

See you there