"Your knowledge is amazing and has helped me relax and gain confidence in myself. Thank you so much for your energy and dedication to helping me and others like me".
- J, 2018
That initial time after having a child is a whirlwind of emotions. It can be a few weeks before you acknowledge how you are feeling with your own body. Once that initial recovery process has taken place some women are left wondering how to best start an exercise programme to rehabilitate and strengthen their bodies without doing undue harm. One look at Facebook these days leaves you inundated with exercise programmes promising flat stomachs and toned buttocks. For most of us these goals seem very distant! Taking a guided approach to your post-natal rehab will help to allow your body the time it takes to recover. It will help you to reconnect with your body. I believe that all mothers should receive a Post-natal check up about 6-8 weeks after birth. Consider it a body warrant of fitness. Not only has pregnancy been a time of rapid change, child birth can bring many challenges on its own. Your body has been through a dramatic change and now you are commencing a physically demanding job. My post-natal assessments identify any pelvic floor dysfunction, abdominal diastasis (separation), back/pelvic dysfunction and a postural assessment to establish the best approach to your rehabilitation.
I encourage all my clients to establish goals that they can work towards. It may be to be able to walk 30min around the park without back pain. It may be to be able to cough without bladder leakage or to be able to run a half marathon! Everyone is different but establishing this as a part of your initial assessment allows us to create a treatment plan that will work for you.
Post-Natal Physiotherapy may be required to assist with any pain and dysfunction. This can be in the form of manual therapy and massage as well as education and exercise.
For some women post-natal classes are a great way to get moving again in a safe and supervised environment with other new mums. This is a demanding time on your body and pilates is a low-impact form of exercise which can be adapted to suit everyone. Emphasis in this class is placed on improving your pelvic floor function and pelvic stability as well as postural strengthening and mobility. As a physio I see pilates as a fantastic way to not only repair and recover after pregnancy and birth but also to condition your body to the demands of being a new mum.
It can be hard to juggle everything with a new baby but taking some time for YOU will be hugely benefical to your physical and mental wellbeing! One of my online programmes can be a great way to get moving with the knowledge that what you are doing is appropriate for your post natal body. Check out my online section for more information.
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