Dr. Dugan explains how soon after childbirth women should start Kegel exercises.
Great question. Women should probably start the Kegel exercises immediately. There is sort of a tendency for obstetricians to tell women not to do any exercises till they are about six weeks postpartum or after they have the baby. And that probably comes from the fact that you would wait about six weeks to come back and to see the doctor.
Let’s say you had a C-section and they want to look at your sutures, but it’s probably not based on any really good scientific evidence, so we pretty much tell women to get up and get moving. So obviously women are active after they have a baby. They don’t wait six weeks to take care of their newborn, for instance. So I think we are better at reminding women that they should become active immediately after they have the baby and to start working those Kegel exercises immediately after they have a baby.
About Dr. Dugan, M.D.:
Dr. Sheila A. Dugan, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.
Dr. Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. She's currently pursuing development of a program focused on women's musculoskeletal care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.