The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


FAQ for after your baby is born


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What are pelvic floor muscles?

Click here to read a leaflet with information about pelvic floor exercises and bladder advice.

The pelvic floor muscles are weakened when you are pregnant and give birth. These muscles sit at the bottom of the pelvis. Their job is to help to support the bladder, womb and bowels and to wrap around the opening of the bladder and back passage to stop leakage.  

There are two types of exercises to do. Start in a lying or sitting position, progress to standing if they get easier.

Exercise 1 -Squeeze around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind, at the same time squeeze in front as if trying to stop the flow of urine. You should feel a squeeze and lift. Hold for a second. Allow the muscles to fully relax and repeat up to 10 times.

Exercise 2 - Squeeze around the back passage as if you are trying to stop passing wind, at the same time squeeze in front as if trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds (up to 10), relax and repeat a few times (up to 10).  

Both exercises should be done 3 to 4 times a day.

After my baby is born, can I have a room to myself?

Yes it may be possible to provide you with your own room, however a charge may be applied.

Why is skin to skin contact and early feeding important?

We advise that all babies who are well be held in skin to skin contact with their mother as soon as possible following delivery, until they have had the first feed.

Skin to skin contact with your baby has many advantages for you and baby:

  • It helps keep baby warm
  • It helps baby regulate his heart rate and breathing
  • It is calming for mother and baby
  • It helps you and your baby bond
  • It stimulates baby to feed

Most babies show signs that they are ready to feed at around an hour after being born if they are held like this. We recommend skin to skin contact takes place as often as possible in the first few days following delivery as it encourages bonding between mother and baby and encourages your baby to feed.

How can I tell when my baby is ready to feed?

Baby’s show the same signs when they are ready to feed these include:

  • Rapid eye movements under the eye lids
  • Mouth and tongue movements
  • Hand to mouth movements
  • Body movements
  • Small sounds

Crying tends to come after these cues. It is better to feed your baby before he cries. A baby who cries has to be settled before he can feed.