Post Natal Aches and Pains: Mamas, don't suffer in silence.
Updated: Nov 16, 2018
A comment on my endlessly useful local mums' message group recently made me stop and think. I’m a normal mum of two little ones: I never get enough sleep; I eat only standing up; the only fruit I allow myself are the ends of half eaten bananas (feeling I should save the fruit for my girls); I make sure the girls have enough warm, dry clothes when we go out and yet find myself shivering in a t-shirt; I brush their hair and scrape mine unbrushed, unwashed and hasn’t-had-a-cut-in-over-a-year into a scraggly bun. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. And if you’re a mum of little ones too, I guarantee you’re recognising yourself in some of this!
So a message about a Mummy MOT made me take stock. I’ve always recoiled at the “Because you’re worth it” ads about finding some scented candle me-time for yourself in the bath, so instead I plod along and make do. But giving birth and caring for children has certainly had a big impact on my body: my pelvic floor could do with ‘Granny’s pack of chewing gum’ to mend the leak; my tummy popped out after my second baby and I have no muscles to hold it back in; and I suffer from increasingly debilitating lower back pain from lifting, hunching, sleeping in contorted co-sleeping positions etc. And here again, I know I’m in good mama-company!
So I spoke to a wonderful local Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Tara Scott of Harmony Physiotherapy, to find out what help is out there for mums like me. And, as it turns out, there's help for all of the above (happily no chewing gum techniques!). And, I suspect you’ll agree, it would be nice to jump carefree and pain free on a trampoline once in a while...
Your Postnatal Body
You’ve gone through pregnancy, got through birth and got your gorgeous little baby. It is an incredible and life changing journey; both emotionally and physically.
As a mum myself, I know it is all too easy to get focused on your new bundle of joy and forget about looking after yourself. However, a few days, weeks or even months down the line you might notice and start wondering if those niggly symptoms you might be experiencing are normal.
Your bladder might be leaking after coughing, sneezing or laughing (or maybe after trying that little jump on a trampoline with your eldest child and quickly regretting it).
Dashing to the toilet or having difficulty getting there in time and having to always make sure you know where the nearest toilet is.
Not being able to control your wind...eek... and having to blame it on your baby 😉
A painful or aching back or pelvis.
A strange gap or bulging in your tummy.
A heaviness, lump or dragging sensation in your pelvis or around your vagina.
All these problems are so common and yet are not normal, but with seeking the right help and a bit of work they can get better!
The reason you may be getting these symptoms is because after having a baby most women have a weakness in either their tummy muscles, pelvic floor muscles or both. It is so important to seek professional help to treat your symptoms and have the best recovery possible, and most importantly so you can enjoy your baby and motherhood as much as possible.
I highly recommend seeing a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist. For example, at Harmony Physiotherapy we offer a 1-hour ‘Mummy MOT’ postnatal examination which includes: a full postural screen, in-depth pelvic floor muscle assessment, abdominal muscle exam to check for any separation, and screening for any bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction. Following this, you will be given a bespoke postnatal recovery programme to include rehabilitation exercises (and what you shouldn’t be doing!), advice and follow up treatment if needed.
We recommend the Mummy MOT for all women following a vaginal or caesarean section delivery, at least 6 weeks post birth but it's never to late! It can be done months or even years later. So please don’t suffer in silence and let those symptoms get worse 😊
Harmony Physiotherapy is based at Mortlake Business Centre, London SW14
If you would like some more information or a free confidential consultation on the phone please contact Tara on 07523 486131 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org