One Woman's Perspective
This week I am sharing some thoughts from a past client, so that you might see how pelvic health programs can really help empower women. I met Rebekah about two years ago through a Core Restoration consultation. She is now pregnant with her second child and I recently held a Prepare To Push workshop for her and a few of her pregnant friends. As she has the perspective of both preparation and recovery, I thought her view would be very helpful.
What did you think when you first heard about what I do?
I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more. I heard you say the word ‘pelvic floor’ and I remember saying to myself, “What the heck is she talking about?” I don't think I really knew what my pelvic floor was.
Tell me what you thought about the first session – the postpartum core assessment we did (2 years after your first child).
We did the assessment when my son was two and, thankfully, I didn't have any separation in my abs. I did have a lot to learn about the exercises I should be doing to help build and strengthen my pelvic floor. I remember learning that I actually needed to relax my pelvic floor! I learned what activities I should be doing and those that were best to be avoided! You never made me feel badly for wanting to run, for example, but you gave me alternatives that were better choices for me until my core was ready. The alternatives actually helped me feel stronger physically and mentally.
What was the most shocking thing you learned during that assessment?
I was shocked that by doing crunches I was not flattening my abs but potentially harming them. I also learned that the little tinkles while laughing and running and coughing that I thought were normal could go away with a little effort and the "core breath."
You are pregnant again with your second child and you took the Prepare To Push workshop with me. What was the biggest take-away from the workshop?
My biggest take-away….? Well, I have a few. I liked learning (I mean, reviewing) the exercises to help strengthen my pelvic floor and those exercises that would help release it. I took away a better understanding of how posture and neutral pelvis are linked. I also loved learning about the birth positions, as well as the breathing exercises and movements that will help me train for those positions.
Tell me how you feel going into this birth compared to your first one?
I had very little knowledge going into my first birth, and thankfully all went well, but I am so glad to have the knowledge of positions and core breathing this time that I feel will help lead to a more comfortable recovery for me after the delivery.
What will you change about your postpartum recovery this time compared to your first one?
I will be more mindful of my pelvic floor and the exercises I know will help, instead of hinder my recovery. I will take time to heal and not push myself to bounce back. As you told me, my body changed and evolved over nine months, so it will likely take nine months, or more, to return to "normal." I will not get worked up about pounds gained and lost, but instead will focus on how to recover wisely. I want to be strong as I age!
What do you tell other women you meet who are pregnant or who are new moms?
I have told a number of women to get in touch with you! We just don't seem to get the knowledge we need so the more we can encourage women to share this information, the better. Two of the women I have spoken to have taken your advice and seen a pelvic floor physio and both experienced great results. My sister-in-law is a very fit yogi, but she had diastasis and now has the tools to recover.
What changes have you made to your exercise/movement regime since we met?
I have taken to walking hills and doing more interval training. I attend a weekly "circuit" class and have ditched the runs. Now that I am pregnant, and due in ten weeks, I have kept up the walking, but clearly decreased the speed. I have also kept up with weights and squats. The list of activities you have given me have been a great help. I know that muscles will just help build a stronger me and help me birth my new little one.
This is one person’s perspective on how core restoration and pelvic floor health strategies can really support the prenatal and postpartum experience. If you would like to connect about a personalized approach for your own wellness, please be in touch!