Typical things new mums have to do:
- Bend over cots
- Lift buggies
- Change nappies on the floor or low surface
- Push buggies up hills or on grass
- Feed the baby and hold in a set position for long periods of time
These are all movements that new mums have to do after having a baby. How ready is the post natal body to actually do them without causing more niggles and pains?
Very often new mums get very little advice. During pregnancy they have seen the midwife and maybe their gynecologist. However, once they have left hospital, they get very little medical support.
In France, all women who have a baby get a minimum of 6 sessions with a woman’s health physio. This means women are shown HOW to do the pelvic floor exercises correctly, they are checked to see if the woman is holding on and potentially needs to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor more. They are given support if they have a diastasis or a prolapse.
It is such a shame that all new mums in the UK only get is a 6 week check with the GP – very often this is more about their mental health and the health of the baby. Often a woman has to ask their GP to check their tummy or pelvic floor, but that is only if they feel something isn’t right.
The main areas a new mum can start to support herself are:
Breath into the diaphragm…
to get a better connection within the body. Essentially it is not about breathing straight into the tummy – which can cause more pressure on the tummy and pelvic floor.
Avoid holding the breath when lifting…
again this will protect the pelvic floor and tummy. We want to avoid ‘intra-abdominal pressure’, so sing, whistle or exhale when getting up or lifting the buggy or baby.
Get to think and feel more about what is going on with your body…
does it feel ‘heavy’ in your vagina? Can you see your tummy push upwards/dome when you get up? If so try and notice what you feel/see.
Roll over to get up…
if you have a ‘diastasis’ i.e. the mid-line down your tummy feels quite soft or there seems to be a big gap going down the tummy, again, try not to do a sit up to get up, roll onto your side, use your hands and try not to hold the breath.
Try and think about your posture…
I say ‘lift your heart up’ whether you are walking, pushing pram or sitting feeding. Look after your posture as this can help the tummy and pelvic floor.
Pushing your buggy right…
have you got a tight upper back? If so when pushing your buggy, especially across grass or uphill, try not to have arms straight and bum sticking out behind you. Think about your posture, tuck your elbows in and push through the bum.
These are all little tips you can think about and try to incorporate into your life with your new baby.
Most of all – if something doesn’t feel right in your tummy or pelvic floor ask your GP for a referral to see a Women’s Health Physio (WHP) or get in touch and I can give you names of ones who are local and can support you properly.
#postnatalbodies #lookafteryourpostnatalbody #pelvichealth #diastasis #womenshealthphysio #newmumtips