And no, not my glutes.
When you can return to other exercise, however, depends on your birth experience and whether you’re experiencing any red-flag symptoms (more on that below). Ultimately, there are no hard-and-fast rules; just be sure to get the okay from your doctor and listen to your body, advises Carrie Pagliano, DPT, a physical therapist specializing in women’s health in Arlington, VA.
“Spend less than five minutes or so on the toilet and try some deep breathing. The pelvic floor is actually a respiratory muscle,” says Carrie Pagliano, DPT, founder of Carrie Pagliano Physical Therapy, in Arlington, Virginia, and an American Physical Therapy Association spokesperson. “When you inhale, the pelvic floor drops, and when you exhale, it rises.” Slow, deep breathing introduces a nice gentle movement that can push poop down the road, and it helps you rediscover your pelvic muscles if you’re having trouble with sensation. Making a low humming sound or slowly repeating a mantra also helps some women.