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Posnatal Exercise

Postnatal exercise is for mothers to do after delivery.

Types of exercises

It is recommended to start the exercises on the 1 st day of normal delivery.

You can start exercising even when you are still lying on the bed.

Try these :

  • Move feet up and down, 10 times
  • Move feet in circle movement, clockwise and anticlockwise, 10 times
  • Deep breathing exercises, 3 times

Repeat these exercises 3 times / day.

As you progress, you may vary the position (lying, sitting, and standing) while exercising :

  • Pull in your pelvic floor muscles, feel the contraction and relax, 5 times.
  • Pull in tummy and relax, 5 times
  • Tighten buttocks and relax, 5 times

Depends on your capability and ability, you can proceed to the following:

  • Lie on tummy with one or two pillows under hips; pull in tummy and relax – 5 times
  • Lie on tummy; pull in pelvic floor muscle and relax – 5 times
  • Lie on tummy; tighten buttock and relax – 5 times
  • Back strengthening exercises

Back strengthening exercises

  • Lying with head and shoulder supported, hip and knee slightly bend; flatten your back against bed and relax – 5 times.

  • Lying with head and shoulder supported, hip and knee slightly bend; tighten your tummy and lift up your buttocks off bed – 5 times.

  • Lying on the tummy, lift head and shoulder off bed – 5 times.

Exercises that can be done after Caesarian section

Start exercise on the day after your operation.

The following are some of the exercises recommended :

  • Breathing exercise
  • Coughing
  • Leg and foot exercise

Second day after operation, exercise should be done slowly and gently in any comfortable position on the bed.

  • Static abdominal exercise :
    • Tighten your tummy and relax. 5 times each session; 3 times /day.

  • Pelvic floor contraction (Kegel’s exercise) :
    • Squeeze your pelvic floor muscle as though you are preventing the flow of urine, feel the lift up of the pelvic floor muscle and hold for 5 seconds, than relax – 10 times each session; 3 times / day.

Breathing exercise

  • Take 5 slow, deep breath and relax.
  • Repeat every hour when you are awake for the first two days.

This is to help keep your lungs clear and prevent chest complication.


  • Bend your knees up, sit forward and support your wound firmly with a pillow.

  • Breath in, hold and cough deeply
  • Repeat 3 times

This is to bring up secretion from airway.

Leg and foot exercise

  • Move your ankles up and down. Repeat 10 times


  • Draw circles with both feet. Repeat 10 times.

  • Bend and straighten knees alternately. Repeat 10 times.

This is to improve blood circulation.

Exercises to be avoided immediately following operation

  • Double legs lifting

  • Sitting up from lying position
  • Jumping and hopping

Further reading

  1. Welford H (1998). The complete guide from planning to birth. Reader’s Digest.
  2. David Araujo (April 1997). Expecting questions about exercise and pregnancy. The Physical and sport medicine (vol 25 no 4).
Last Reviewed : 23 August 2019
Writer : Dr. Nor Filzatun Borhan
Accreditor : Pn Hamidah Ishak
Pn. Hjh Asiah Mohd Hashim
Reviewer : Dr. Rafaie bin Amin