Circumstances allowing, you can start pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs) immediately after the birth. If you’ve had an instrumental or operative delivery, you may not be able to feel the muscles contracting this early on. Don’t panic, the sensation should increase over time, so regardless of your mode of delivery, try to do a few gentle squeezes as soon as you can.
Continue daily (PFMEs), gradually increasing the repetitions and duration of holds. You are aiming for 10 long squeezes (of at least 8 seconds duration) and 10 quick squeezes, 3 times a day.
As important as the pelvic floor muscle contraction, is the relaxation of the muscle group. Between each long squeeze, make sure you have fully relaxed before starting the next. Try them lying down, sitting and eventually in standing.
For guidance, have a look at the following resources:
1. Squeezy NHS Pelvic Floor App https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/squeezy-nhs-pelvic-floor-app/id700740791
2. Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) https://www.csp.org.uk/system/files/personal_training_for_your_pelvic_floor.pdf
3. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust – A guide to pelvic floor Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust “A guide to the pelvic floor muscles – women” https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/5651Ppelvicfloorwomenpdf.pdf
4. Information from The British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) about pelvic floor exercises: https://www.baus.org.uk/_userfiles/pages/files/Patients/Leaflets/Pelvic%20floor%20XS%20female.pdf