Wednesday 28 February 2024
Salisbury Foundation Trust

Postnatal Physical Wellbeing

It is recommended that you wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth to ensure healing and vaginal bleeding has stopped. After this period, and when the time is right for you, there are many activities you can participate in to aid your physical recovery from pregnancy and birth.

Benefits of physical activity after giving birth include:

  • Improving your fitness
  • Improving your mood/ taking time for yourself
  • Improving your sleep
  • Controlling your weight
  • Strengthening the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to prevent problems in the future such as urinary or bowel leakage, vaginal heaviness, low back or pelvic girdle pain.


Hormonal changes from pregnancy can affect your ligaments and joints for 6 months or more after giving birth. Ensure that you have comfortable supportive clothes and bra when exercising and are well hydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding. Start slowly and gradually build up as you feel able, as your physical recovery will take time.

If you have any pain or concerns regarding side effects from your pregnancy (e.g. incontinence, pelvic pain etc) or are experiencing pain during exercise, please seek medical advice from your GP, midwife, health visitor or pelvic health specialist physiotherapist before you start (or continue) to participate in physical exercise.


Useful links:

POGP – Exercise and advice after pregnancy

POGP – Fit for the future

NHS – Your post-pregnancy body

NHS – Prenatal and postnatal yoga

Healthline – 8 Postnatal Exercises

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

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