During pregnancy our bodies go on this journey of incredible change that prepares us physically for growing another human being and ultimately leading us to birth.
Our body institutionally knows how to birth, but that may not make it any easier on us to actually birth because there are factors that are within our control and outside of our control that play a role in birth as well.
Birthing is a very physical activity that even the fittest woman may not be prepared for.
It takes a great deal of inner awareness to let go of the tensions in our body while using a dynamic stability and stamina to maintain postures that promote the baby’s descent into the pelvis and through the vagina.
Wouldn’t it be nice to influence the factors that we have control over, before you are in labor?
These factors may be your ability to relax the pelvic floor, your awareness of pelvic positioning and hip flexibility. All within your control prior to labor but never really mentioned in your prenatal visits or well meaning friends and family when they tell you stories of their birth experiences.
Regardless of your birth method choice having a better sense of your body prior to birth will help you recover and figure out your new body after birth.
You can do this through therapeutic maternal specialist training. Not typically mentioned or suggested at your prenatal visits, you are expected to know everything there is to know about how to birth…or your told to go to a childbirth class, which is great but will not give you the same level of body awareness as one on one training. Childbirth classes are so important for providing information about different methods of childbirth, certain medical interventions and varying pain management skills. But they do not go over postures, positions, stretches and birth recovery that is so paramount for the health of our bodies.
Your physical health affects your mental & general health…who hasn’t heard “a happy wife a happy life.” Well this goes for moms too (because you don’t have to be a wife to be a mom). If we don’t take the time to really invest in our bodies during pregnancy to reduce the effects these changes have that can cause serious long term problems (incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain, to name a few), then we are only giving part of ourselves to our loved ones.
If you agree with me, spread the word. We need to create a new culture surrounding the maternal care system when it comes to moms health. Other countries have been doing this for decades, why not the US. So let’s start right here in the Seacoast. (especially if you had a C-section...if you think about it, you just went through major surgery...any other major surgery, i.e. total joint replacement, heart surgery, etc...you'd automatically be sent to rehab...not so for moms).
The best part, you don’t need to go to your OB to get a referral in NH, ie. this can be your choice. We rely very heavily on the medical expertise of doctors, which is absolutely needed, but when truths and education is inadvertently omitted from conversations, we need to listen to our inner voice. So bring it up at your next visit or just contact a highly trained maternal physical therapy specialist in your area….ME!
And to be honest…we’re not all created equal. We all bring different modalities and thinking to the table. For me I’m a nontraditional PT. Yes, I have the same doctorate training as many of my colleagues and I did some of the same post-graduate training in pelvic floor rehab as others in my area, ultimately receiving my Certification as a Women’s Health Clinical Specialist.
What I also bring to the table is my years of experience working with woman from across the spectrum, so I know the devastating outcomes that can happen if we leave our bodies to their own devices or *gasp* improper fitness training.
Oh, and did I mention I have additional training in manual myofascial release therapy which is a powerful tool for helping muscles come back “on line” from not being able to work for us then add to the mix Pilates exercises. But I’ll tell you, I’m a non-traditional Pilates trainer. I believe, as do my instructors that it is less about performing specific classical exercises and more about how the body performs movement while using the inner body (core).
Every day I’m amazed at how this combination of training really serves the expecting and new moms so well.
So let’s circle back around, our body goes through tremendous changes during pregnancy, to the point that our structure will never be the same, no matter how many crunches you do (please, please don’t do crunches).
But there are ways you can reduce these affects on the body by improving your awareness of your inner body through specialist care.
The main thing that matters is you are taken care of, now and in the future, so you can continue the activities you love, explore new activities, give the most you can to your loved ones without the fear of causing harm to your body.
And stay tuned for more on "What Your NOT Told About Birth"...