Often we focus so much attention on the stuff we need to do better, that we forget to celebrate the stuff that we do right. So today we celebrate. We celebrate those women who are under the pre and postnatal care of great Women’s Health Physiotherapists. We celebrate the obstetricians, midwives and GPs who ensure the women in their care are well informed about what may have happened to them during childbirth and help them to work out the most effective course of ongoing care and provide the best referrals.
And we celebrate the Fitness Professionals working in supporting roles to ensure women are well looked after and exercise is appropriately modified in their training environment, so that they have the opportunity to become stronger and fitter than they have ever been before.
What better way to celebrate than with the positive journey of a mum who currently exercises with us at Body Beyond Baby. I’m always excited when a woman comes to us well informed and has chosen to work with us because she knows that we can help to continue her care, working hand-in-hand with her other carers.
“I had a long, traumatic delivery with my son. After a very long labour, he became distressed so was delivered via forceps. Despite being given an episiotomy, I still suffered 3rd degree tearing and haemorrhaged, I felt pretty bloody awful after the whole thing. I had no idea whether my experience was normal or not, or that I was at risk of suffering so many injuries from childbirth!
Yet despite this, and a very painful first few weeks at home where I could not stand or walk for more than a few minutes without feeling like my insides were falling out, I eagerly looked forward to my ‘six-week all clear’ from my GP to get back to the gym. Now I know how crazy that early enthusiasm might have been.
At my 6-week check-up I was told by my GP that he suspected I had a mild prolapse and should get a check-up from a Women’s Health Physiotherapist before returning to exercise.
I had never heard of a Women’s Health Physio, prolapse or anything about pelvic floor health, other than doing my kegels as instructed during pregnancy. I am very lucky that my GP referred me at such an early stage as with the benefit of the knowledge I now have, I am horrified at what further damage I would have done to myself by launching straight back into my pre-baby exercise regime unchecked. My physio journey has been long and emotionally difficult but it has benefited me a lot. I have improved my prolapse from a Stage 2 to a Stage 1. Over the two years since I was diagnosed, I have gradually increased my exercise from simply walking to being able to run again. I train weekly with Body Beyond Baby and also have a modified weight lifting regime. I have completely fixed my abdominal separation through rehab and clinical pilates which I continue to do as ongoing rehab.
Sometimes what my body has been through still frustrates me but I know I would be in a much worse place now, both mentally and physically, without the help of my physio and trainers. I know I hated getting unsolicited advice when I was pregnant, but here it is ladies – stay informed and get a great Women’s Health Physio on your team.”
Lynne, mum of 1
In a further update Lynne had a check up with her Physio yesterday and is happy to report that her prolapse has stayed where it is and her pelvic floor strength has improved even though she has been doing more running and training the last couple of months – Woohoo!
So if you are already a mum and you are reading this and feel like something just isn’t right for you and you are not being looked after, please get in touch and I will help to put you in contact with one of our network of amazing Women’s Health Physios who can support you on your journey. And if you are pregnant then all power to you! You are now armed with information that you can use both during pregnancy and postnatally to ensure you are on track to recover quickly and effectively and with as much education as possible.
I really do believe that collaboration is key and through working together to support and educate, we can improve the experience of every single woman returning to exercise after she becomes a mother.
Mum-focused author, educator and business owner, Jen Dugard is on a mission to ensure every woman is safely and effectively looked after when she becomes a mother. She is a highly qualified trainer and fitness professional educator and has been specialising in working with mums for over a decade. MumSafe is the go-to place online for women to find mum-focused fitness services that are all accredited, experienced and partnered with women’s health physios so you know you are in very safe hands.