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10 Things you should know during pregnancy and postpartum
17 Jun 2014 Posted by: Guest blogger
1. During Pregnancy - To help prevent SPD (Symphysis Pubis Disorder) and Sacral Dysfunction (i.e. pain in your sacrum) keep your legs together… Due to Relaxin hormone your pelvis is very unstable; opening your legs wide can cause you these conditions.
a. Be aware how you get out of bed .
b. Be aware how you get out of a car.
c. Be aware how you pick up another child.
2. Postnatally you can still suffer from SPD or Sacrial Dysfunction; relaxin takes about 3 months to leave your body and if you are breastfeeding it continues in your system until 3 months after you stop therefore you still need to be careful.
a. If you are crouching down to speak to a toddler or younger child either go to your knees so you are kneeling or squat with your legs together.
b. If you have a toddler that you need to pick up, go down with your knees together, contract your abs in and then pick him/her up.
3. Pelvic Floor exercises or Keggles are a vital exercise during pregnancy and postpartum.
a. Strengthening your pelvic floor during pregnancy not only will help you work with the muscles you will be using to push your baby out.
b. These exercises will speed the healing process of a tear or episiotomy so even though you might be frightened to do them they are fantastic as they increase the blood flow and oxygenate the area.
4. Ask your midwife or GP postpartum to check for Diastasis Recti (this is when you have separation in your stomach muscles, it can vary in its severity and you need to address this quickly so as to prevent back issues or umbilical hernias.)
a. If you find you have Diastasis Recti, depending on the severity, ask to be referred to a Physiotherapist or a trained professional that can help you ‘glue’ it back together via rehabilitation exercises. (In Brighton and Hove Belly Buster classes are designed to diagnose and rehabilitate women postpartum *depending on the degree of the condition.)
b. Be very aware of your posture if you have this condition – DO NOT DO SIT UPS! And try to not let your tummy muscles ‘hang out’. This will only make this condition worse.
5. Both Core Stability and Strength Training are vital for Postnatal women. Due to the Relaxin hormone and bad posture during pregnancy the pelvis and core strength will suffer. This impacts our back and women are more prone to back and shoulder pain.
a. To prevent chronic back pain and shoulder pain Core Stability Exercises are fantastic to aid in strengthening these areas. Babies are only going to become bigger, so strengthen your body so as to manage their growth.
6. When you feed your baby – whether bottle or breast, mind your posture.
a. Assess what your shoulders are doing? What are your back and tummy doing?
b. Try to sit against a hard back like a wall, a chair and contract your tummy muscles in so as to stabilise your body and remember to keep your shoulder back. i.e. sit up straight and bring your baby closer to you rather then you go down to be closer to him or her.
7. After working with many postnatal women I highly recommend all to go to a Chiropractor or Osteopath postpartum. Pregnancy and giving birth impact the body in many ways. The pelvis will move, either rotating or twisting. Hence having an MOT with a Chiropractor and then attending postnatal exercises classes for core stability and strength training is a great way to rehabilitate your body and prepare you for the growth and development of your child.
8. Remember “to rest” is as important as exercise.
9. Nutrition is vital during pregnancy but it is even more important postpartum! The correct nutrition will keep your energy levels balanced. We all go for the sugars like biscuits and cakes due to being so tired. A great tip I applied after having my babies was to cook big batches of food like soup, chilli con carne, bolognese and froze it in little separate containers, so that I would know that I would have healthy meals throughout the week.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. IT’S THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN.
10. Enjoy your BabyMoon! They are only tiny for very little time so take off the pressure of having to be the perfect mother. Enjoy cuddling and learning about your baby. Sit and watch them, sleep during the day with them, massage them, look and marvel at the beautiful creation you have brought into the world.