ALL MUMS HAVE A BIRTH PLAN,
SO WHY NOT HAVE A POST BIRTH RECOVERY PLAN?
Many mums-to-be spend a significant amount of time and effort on a birth plan but few spend as much energy on their postnatal recovery road map – which is equally, if not more, important – to ensure you are looking after yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.
WE ALL LOVE STATS!
Approx. 1 in 4 women experience pelvic floor dysfunction after a baby, irrespective of mode of delivery.
Prevalence of diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) following childbirth is 60% at 6 weeks, 45% at 6 months and 33% at 12 months.
At the Mummy MOT we recommend the following pathways to get you back to full strength:
6-week Initial Postnatal Check
12 weeks Comprehensive Assessment
20 weeks Return to Exercise / High levels of Activity
Birth -2 Weeks
Consider who is going to be around to help look after you?
Can you get support from a partner, parent, doula, friends or neighbours?
Can someone help you prepare food before the birth and freeze it, so you have easily accessible nourishing and healthy meals?
Stay cocooned in your baby bubble with just you, your baby and your partner and/or closest support. Take it easy, nourish yourself by eating well and resting, reconnect with your breath and pelvic floor as your uterus and other organs reduce in size and return to their optimal position.
Much as you may feel either the urge or the pressure to ‘get back to normal’, we know it can be tough if have young children at home or, you are home alone. But try to remember, the recovery process takes time and this period should still be focused on resting, recovering and letting your bladder and bowel get back to their normal function.
If you feel up to it, you can begin introducing gentle functional movement and postnatal Pilates.
This will include exercises like tilts and bridges to regain functioning movement but it’s not advisable to start any hard core strengthening until you have had your six-week check.
6 – 8 weeks
BOOK YOUR MUMMY MOT – Vaginal birth 6 weeks and C-Section at 8 weeks
The Mummy MOT post-natal check is a comprehensive in-depth 1-hour assessment for a tummy gap, to check your pelvic floor strength, and any scarring or tearing. The Mummy MOT is for all women who have given birth and still need support in their recovery. It includes an internal pelvic examination, postural screen, abdominal muscle exam, pelvic floor muscle assessment and screen for bladder dysfunction.
The Mummy MOT also has a network of professional specialist physios throughout the UK and Ireland who can offer online checks as well as clinic appointments.
Start a specialist Pilates recovery programme.
The Mummy MOT offers SMART PILATES, which features different exercises depending on your situation, for example, if you are suffering from incontinence or prolapse.
We recommend returning at 12 weeks for a more advanced assessment than the 6 to 8 week check. At 12 weeks, we are able to re-look at your pelvic and abdominal strength and progress your exercises to body weight tests such as press-up, squat jumps and single leg work.
At 20 weeks after the birth of your baby, hopefully you are pain free and able to do all daily functional activities such as, sitting, climbing stairs, changing positions. Your Pelvic Floor strength should return and we aim for no incontinence in the bladder or bowel.
Sometimes, there is still pain when we return to intercourse. If pain is still present, it is worth exploring the cause and treatment available. If you are scared of returning to intimacy, please ask for help and seek professional advice from your GP or Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
Maria Elliott, MCSP,
CEO and Founder of The Mummy MOT®