How we can help through your pre and post natal journey
Pregnancy is a very special time for any Mum and there are a lot of changes that happen within the body. It can be a very exciting time but also an overwhelming time. This is the time to prepare the body for labour and safely strengthen the joints as the ligaments become relaxed with the relaxin hormone.
There are many postural changes that happen during this time as the weight of the baby grows and shifts the centre of gravity forward which can cause lower back pain and strain on to the pelvis. By helping to strengthen and support these muscles I can help you to be pain free and as comfortable as possible during your pregnancy.
Pre Natal Training
Working out during pregnancy is all about maintaining fitness levels and preparing the body for labour and the postpartum journey.
The WHO guidelines for being active during pregnancy are 150 mins a week of moderate intensity exercise over at least 3 days. This should include a variety of resistance and aerobic training and pelvic floor training to help prevent the risk of urinary incontinence. Being physically active is not only good for you, it's also good for your developing baby.
Studies have shown that working out during pregnancy has resulted in the reduction of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and gestational preeclampsia.
Approximately 50% of women will experience back pain and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Exercise is proven to have a small positive effect on these conditions and help alleviate pain in these areas.
The female body goes through huge physiological and mechanical changes. We help to support the body by working the areas of the body most impacted by these changes. We teach you practical moves to help you with your new way of life once you have had your baby.
There are contradictions to working out during pregnancy and this is covered in your initial consultation and our regular prescreen each session to ensure that is it safe for you to exercise. We’ll ensure that you can hold a conversation during workouts so we can assess your level of exertion.
Pre Natal Massage
The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and this has a big impact on the postural system. The added pressure and load into the body can bring about many aches and pains.
Before your appointment I'll ask you to complete a prescreen document so I am aware of any contraindications that might affect your treatment. Once we are face to face I start with a postural assessment, then once on the couch I palpate the body and find any problem areas that are causing you issues.
Common problems that I can help reduce symptoms are:
Lower back pain
Pelvic girdle pain
Carpel Tunnel syndrome
De Quervain’s Tenosinovitis
From the second trimester I offer treatment that is nurturing and restorative. Pregnancy can be a stressful time and you can experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Massage can help you to destress and connect with your body and mind. I like to give clients an extra 5/10 mins at the end of the treatment for the body to relax and take in the benefit so you leave feeling rested and restored.
I will always offer advice and any exercises that will help strengthen and stretches that release tension in the body.
Post Natal Training
You’ve had your baby so what now?
This is a rough guideline on postnatal recovery, every pregnancy and recovery journey is different. You need to be signed off by your GP and we advise you to be seen by a woman’s health physio so we can get a full understanding of where you're body is at to be able to start a training programme.
The below guidelines are what we'd advise based on 6 weeks post vaginal birth and 12 week's post caesarian birth:
The first 0 to 6 weeks post birth your focus should be resting and sleeping and getting used to your new life with your baby. In terms of getting back to any training you can start to focus on simple breath work and pelvic floor exercises.
From 6 to 12 weeks you should continue with the breath and pelvic floor exercises and build in some core restoration, glute strengthening exercises and incorporate some gentle mobility moves to ease any aches and pains
From 12 to 16 weeks you can continuing with core restoring exercises and glute strengthening work and start to shift your focus to more strengthening exercises, starting to progressively add more load to your workouts and more challenging moves
16 to 20 weeks - Continuing the work you’ve been doing over the last 16 weeks, adding in more challenging moves, perhaps increasing weights and reps. If the body is ready you could start to work with the couch to 5k programme but it's important to take it slowly back into high impact such as running even if you feel strong enough.
20 + weeks - You can start to increase intensity and work on balance and more impact work.
For all of the above , this is a rough guide and we will work together on your personal post natal programme based on your body and lifestyle.
How can we help post birth
Once the baby has arrived this can be a very demanding time for any Mum. It is so important that you make time for yourself and practice self care whether this is through massage or exercise. The body goes through so many changes during pregnancy it is important that you look after your body and rebuild and strengthen from the inside out.
I advise all clients to see a Woman’s health Physio and be signed off by their GP before they commence with training.
There are lots of musculoskeletal changes that happen during this time and it's important to strengthen the posterior chain to support this and help prevent injuries whilst strengthening the body.
Training can be in the comfort of your own home and we can work around you and your baby. I am more than happy to cuddle, burp or distract your little one so that you can focus on and get the most out of your workout.
Post Natal Massage
Before your massage I send you a form to complete so I have an idea of where your body is at before you come to me for treatment. I'll ask all the information I need so we can have more time for hands on treatment.
Once you are at the clinic or studio i'll do a postural analysis and ask any further questions to have a good understanding of your body. I will look at a few movement patterns, how are you standing, how are you walking and look at how you are breathing.
Breathing is so important for the recovery process, it helps clients to reconnect with their bodies, helps strengthen the TVA, connects with your pelvic floor and diaphragm. TVA helps with posture.
During pregnancy the diaphragm is unable to fully contract as the organs and baby are in the way and postnatally it can take a while for you to reconnect with your body. When you inhale, your ribs are unable to expand, your accessory muscles take over, the ribs elevate instead of expanding but with a little help from me, I can help the release the diaphragm and help you breath into their ribs which can help with the postnatal recovery process.
I then focus on any areas of the body that need attention and care.
For me the postnatal massage is 50/50 nurture and problem solving. It’s a time for new Mums to have some time to themselves. I do not allow babies into the massage room because I feel its so important for you to take that time and be able to switch off. I always allow an extra 5/10 mins at the end for clients to have complete relaxation and I quite often have to wake Mums up after their treatment.
Scar tissue treatment
25% of births in the UK are by cesarian.
Something that is not widely discussed is after care for cesarians. It's really important for the tissue to be worked on and for any adhesions to be broken down as this can have an impact on the functionality of the tissue across the body.
Adhesions will form in the tissue as the college fibres bind together to create blankets of tissue as they close up the area where surgery took place.
The body is unable to naturally break down these adhesions, as they form together they can bind together organs nerves and muscles and enclose the tissue.
Scar tissue can impact and create disfunction in the body. It can even cause issues with the pelvic floor.
I can help bring back the sensitivity in the tissue around the scar and work out any adhesions in the scar. Its never to late to work on that scar tissue.
The scar has to be completely healed for me to work on it. Sometimes it may take a couple of treatments and sometimes it can be an ongoing area of the body that needs to be worked on. I teach you how to massage the scar yourself and show you stretches that will complement the work that I do.