Apr 082013

working in 'Mums & Bubs

Take time to stop and breathe…

Becoming a new mum, especially with your 1st baby is an extremely new and fast learning experience. pre  natal education classes, for the birth, for your body, reading…checking out websites all about childbirth and parenting are all really useful ways of preparation to be a mum…
BUT now how do you find time to take care of yourself…You are now totally  involved in the on going 24 by 7 care of your baby.
I often hear my ‘mums’ say to each other and to me “I just don’t seem to have any time to do my hair let alone my pelvic floor exercises” So how can I, in one little, barely read blog inspire you to work from the inside and start doing those pelvic floor  exercises.
When you go to your mother’s group, why don’t you have a “2 minute exercise break“…yep start by talking about ..
“Have you done the exercises they gave you in hospital ?” and then …
“How about we try and do them now ..sitting here in this group”.. A bit novel!! Even the mums who had a C section will need to be able to contract their deep Abs and pelvic floor when lifting and handling baby. These exercises are also the pre- activation work for helping a stomach separation (DRA) and getting rid of your mummy tummy!!

  • Why not  come to my ‘Muscle Mums’ classes for mums and bubs – come as a group
  • Get your mother’s group to check out my website
  • Why not ask me to come and do an exercise session with your group ?
  • Come and seeme for an assessment and personal exercise programme


 Posted by at 12:58 am
Jan 152013

DRAWhat a great way to start the new year…bulging tummies!
During your pregnancy you may develop stretching and separation of the middle part of your tummy muscles.  This ‘linea alba’  holds together the outermost rectus abdominius muscles (six pack), internal and external obliques, and the fascia of the transverse abdominus.  You can do exercises during your pregnancy and ‘lifestyle ‘changes to minimise this.  It doesn’t happen to everybody.
How to tell: and what to do if you have a DRA (diastasis):

Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent.  Place your hand flat on your belly, fingers pointing towards your toes.  Fingers should be flat on your belly.  Check in three places– belly button, two inches above belly button, and also below.  To check; you press your fingers down as you lift your head.  Shoulders stay down.  If you feel a space that you can press at least one to two finger into then that is a diastasis.  The wider this space, the worse the diastasis.  It may bulge or even pulse as the underlying tissue is very thin.  A diastasis can be caused by pregnancy/childbirth, but also by doing too many stomach-strengthening exercises (sit- ups / crunches) without also strengthening the deep transverse abdominal muscle that supports your internal organs and growing baby. Men can also get DRA

You may need a support belt.

What NOT to do if you have a DRA :
Don’t do Pilates mat classes or DVD’s at home. You may do a specialized studio Pilates programme where you are working 1:1 or in a very small group .  Get your belly assessed by a Women’s Health Physio  first and she will help you with a safe exercise programme.
Don’t brace and bear down or strain…this will increase the pressure inside your tummy and in the effort to hold your tummy in strongly you will be putting  too much pressure on your pelvic floor.
Most of the Pilates mat class exercises that you can do at your local gym or at a ‘boot camp’  will not only not help your mummy tummy, they may make it worse, or even create a diastasis where there was none before.   When your diastasis starts to heal, you can do certain exercises which are designed to help your DRA, but not crunches or sit- ups..Make sure your Women’s Health Physio talks to your Personal trainer or Pilates teacher… This is how we spread the word….
    DRA from the front

What TO do: When doing these exercises make sure you can feel your Pelvic floor lift
Do belly breathing.  When you breathe, feel your lower belly expand, and when you exhale, let your lower tummy come all the way back. Do not forcefully push your upper abdomen out while doing belly breathing.
Do Practice perfect posture as much as possible.  Squat or bend at the knees to lift things or babies.
Carry your baby as close as possible and try to maintain good posture when you do!!!  When breastfeeding, don’t slouch to get breast to baby.  Prop baby higher with pillows, or lie down next to baby to feed.
Do abdominal work:
Deep tummy (Transverse abdominal muscle) is the start, together with pelvic floor lift. A range of side lying ,kneeling on hands and knees ,sitting and standing exercises can be taught with this deep bracing support.
Seated Tupler Technique While breastfeeding, remember good supported posture pillow(s) under baby, bring him/her up to you, rather than bringing your breast down to them,
Place your hands on your tummy, one above the belly button, one below. Take a belly breath and expand tummy to floor one. (Floor 1 is all the way out, floor 5 feels like your tummy is touching your spine), Hold for 30 counts but count out loud so you know you’re still breathing. Then pull your tummy back even further for a little squeeze, and count as you do 5 of these squeezes, and release make sure you relax. Feel your side waist drawing in too. Do 5 sets of these every day and don’t forget your pelvic floor lift first…and breathing….

Courtesy of  http://diastasisrehab.com/before-after.html
Check yourself and then check with your Women’s Health Physio to get the right exercise level,reps and sets..get to it!

 Posted by at 4:14 am
Nov 192012

Bubs watching mum exercise

Peri – Natal Anxiety and Depression

This week Nov 19th is PND Post Natal Depression Awareness week.

1 in 5 women in Australia and 1 in 10 men will experience some form of post natal depression or anxiety in the first 12 to 18 months after having a baby.  This is most common in the first three months.
The ‘Early Childhood Centre’s’ for mums, available in almost every suburb in Sydney and every town in NSW allows a new mum to access an Early Childhood Nurse.
This free service allows all women to gain help and knowledge about being a mother and have time to talk about any concerns they may have. learning to breast feed, settle your baby and deal with severely disrupted sleep can make mums feel blue.
PND is NOT a mental DISEASE.  It is a physiological imbalance of hormones that can have mild to severe mental health issues.  It is really important to talk to your partner, doctor and childhood nurse if you feel you are not coping.

Research conducted by the University of Melbourne and a local hospital in 2010 with 161 post  natal women, showed that an early post natal exercise physiotherapy – led Exercise and Education program in the form of an 8 week ‘Mother & Baby’ class lowered the risk of PND by almost 50% in those women who were assessed as being at risk.

This is great news.  So all you new mums lets get moving…Come to my Mums and Bubs class at Northbridge Sports Focus Physiotherapy.

 Posted by at 10:33 am