Surely, as women we are built for birthing babies and once we've had our 6-8 week check with the GP we're fine to resume normal exercise?
Sadly not, even the most 'text-book' of deliveries cause weakness and stretch to delicate tissues. Consider that 'normal exercise' refers to walking and moving about freely day to day not high impact activities such as running, bootcamp, trampolining or alike. Things within your body may feel ok but caution still needs to be taken to damage to your body or at the very least, a delay in healing.
Some ladies develop conditions post birth they were not expecting or even aware of such as Diastasis Recti, where the outer abdominal muscles lengthen and can separate, it's very common and lots of ladies don’t notice or suffer any problems as a result. Normally, the muscles would come back together again around 8 to 12 weeks post delivery, but if they don’t you will need to be mindful of what exercises you do and how you move day to day as a mum in order to not make the separation worse or delay healing.
In addition to any ‘Gap’ between the muscles the over all core function and muscle tension should be assessed, along with postural alignment. Carrying a baby alters the way we stand and move, leaving some muscles and soft tissues “stuck” which can cause limited movement, pain and your core not to work as it should.
When it comes to our pelvic floor and core, its worth remembering we cannot strengthen what we cannot connect to... this initial appointment is to make sure you can connect to your core and pelvic floor and that exercise is the right next step for you.
What does the appointment involve?
A postnatal consultation involves me seeing you and assessing you, before you come to class. I will need touch your tummy to check for any muscle separation and feel your overall tone. I will check how you breathe and if you can activate your deep stomach muscles assess if you can feel and contract your pelvic floor muscles.
During the consultation we will discuss your pregnancy and delivery, how you feel your pelvic floor function is now, whether you have any scaring, pain or stitches and how you feel your skin and body is healing. If there is any additional support you feel you may need but have not been given access to.
I will look at your posture and will recommend safe postnatal stretches and simple exercises you can use in everyday life to begin your healing process, protect your core and pelvic floor from any further weakness and to help release parts of your body which may feel stuck in their pregnancy form.
Breathing correctly is a huge part of postnatal recovery, I will explain in more detail at your consultation, but in essence, your organs and diaphragm were all squashed and moved by your growing baby and while your organs gently move back to where they came from, the diaphragm can need some help to recover from the trauma of carrying your baby. I will assess your breathing and show you ways to encourage your whole core start to work as one.
The appointment takes around 30 to 45 minutes to complete. I also share details of other local healthcare professionals and services providers which may be able to support you further or help with any additional needs we identify.
Why can't you just check my stomach in the class?
Experience has shown that most women prefer the detailed "Tummy Check" element in the comfort of a treatment room or their own home rather than in the park. As detailed above, this is a more in depth assessment and it allows me to offer tailored 1-2-1 advice about what I consider best for you. Exercise is not always the most appropriate first step and I can recommend alternatives and different practitioners where beneficial.
However, If you do not want to have a home visit and would prefer a basic tummy check in the park, free of charge, you will need to arrange (in advance) to meet me 15 minutes before your first class so that I can check your abdomen for diastasis recti and review the Health Screening form you will have completed. Please be aware you need to BOOK this as i need to arrive at the venue earlier than usual and the £7.50 PAYG price for the class must be paid in advance. If you try the class and enjoy it, you are then welcome to buy a pass and enjoy the sessions at the reduced rates the Good for Mums class passes offers.
How much does it cost?
Tummy check appointments costs £20*
Customers are then entitled to 10% off their first treatment, course or class pass.
The appointment charge is not refundable in the event of a cancellation or non attendance by the customer. However, I understand little ones sometimes become unwell, so I am happy move the appointment to a later date or time with 24 hours notice.
Can I just have an assessment and not come to classes?
Yes, you are very welcome to have an appointment, without any obligation to come to classes afterwards.
What if exercise isn't recommended?
It is not unusual to be left feeling disconnected to parts of your body post baby or unclear about how to take care of your C-Section scar. Diastasis Recti is surprisingly common and with the right guidance and support you can learn how to heal your body and keep up strategies in your day to day life to continue that healing.
As a Holistic Bodyworker I offer a range of treatments which can help to release stuck tissues and help your core and pelvic floor to become more connected. I use a combination of techniques including remedial massage, aromatherapy, hypopressives, releasing massage and movement.
How do I book an appointment?
Appointments are available each Thursday in the treatment. Please use the 'Book Appointment'
*Home appointments are subject to a £5 surcharge* But can be booked via Gymcatch.