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Keeping active during pregnancy

Many pregnant clients ask us the best way in keeping active during pregnancy. In the past it was recommended that women rest whilst their bodies adapted to growing another little person inside. Exercise was to be avoided and lifting kept to a minimum. However now it is recommended by specialists, doctors and physiotherapists to keep exercising and encourage gradual strengthening.

New mums need their strength both during and after their pregnancy for a few key reasons. Firstly during a single pregnancy most mothers-to-be will end up carrying an extra eight to twenty kilos of weight so any extra thigh and back strength is going to help with offloading your joints in your pelvis, hips and knees.

After birth a newborn will weigh on average 3.3kg which is a weight that will need to be lifted and carried right from day one, whilst by four months your childs weight can double and by twelve months can triple. Imagine walking around lifting and carrying a kettlebell of 7-10kg all day!

Therefore strengthening exercise like pilates (both matwork and reformer) can be so helpful both during and after pregnancy. There is evidence that increased strength can help with reducing back pain, reducing risk of gestational diabetes, cramps and leg swelling. It is also a chance to talk about the changes that are happening to your body in a supportive environment.

Having a university trained physiotherapist overseeing your graduated strength training in a small supervised session will help guide your journey through pregnancy and beyond whilst helping you meet the demands of motherhood from a physical perspective. As exercise professionals we understand that all bodies are different and not everyone has done exercise before so we ensure that a one-on-one session is conducted prior to joining any group classes so we can best understand your background and goals and any specific concerns you may have. We have pre and post natal specific classes which your physiotherapist can discuss with you.

If you are at any stage from planning a pregnancy to having delivered a child we would recommend an assessment with one of our experienced physiotherapists at Physio On Miller. Please give us a call on 02 8065 6902 with any questions.

Abdominal Separation After Pregnancy – How Physio Can Help

Abdominal separation after pregnancy is very common. It is also know as Diastasis of Rectus Abdominis Muscle and refers to the separation of the two sides of your rectus abdominis during pregnancy.
Abdominal Separation After Pregnancy
This can occur as your baby grows and the uterus expands it pushes the muscles apart which over time lengthens them. Most women would not notice any issues but you may notice a small bulge developing above and below your belly button.
Once you have given birth this separation generally returns to normal within a couple of months. If this is still present after this then it may increase your risk of back pain as you do not have the support from your abdominal muscles. Following giving birth you may have your separation checked in hospital otherwise one of the team at Physio on Miller will be happy to do this for you.
Generally, the separation is measured in fingers. A one-two finger separation is not too much of a
problem but if your separation is larger or has not reduced within two months speak to one of our
physiotherapists. It is important that you avoid exercises that over work the rectus abdominis (outer
abdominal layer) and that you build the strength of your deep abdominals and pelvic floor muscles.
One of our team of physios will be able to advise you as to exercises that are safe for you to complete.

Importance of looking after my physical health

Having had 2 babies, I’ve come to personally know the importance of looking after my physical health after childbirth.  It’s not only during the pregnancy that we need to make sure we’re in our best physical health but it’s what comes after that is also physically demanding.  The running after the toddler, feeding the newborn and the lifting – lifting the babies out of cots, lifting the pram into the car, lifting, lifting, constant lifting!!

I’ve noticed I’m complaining a bit too often about my sore neck/shoulder from all the feeding and my back from carrying little Indie (or not so little Indie).  It’s no good telling all my clients to look after themselves if I don’t follow my own advice.  So I’ve booked in for physio and I’m getting back into my Pilates.  And the best thing I’m feeling better for it.  I’m not so sore, I’m feeling stronger and it’s easier to lift the pram!

If like me you find it hard to fit some exercise into your day we’ve got a 7 minute core workout that can be done in front of the tele at the end of your day.  Enjoy!!