Pelvic Girdle Pain and Myth Busting Postpartum RecoveryJun 29, 2021
When I was in the park last week I was speaking with a couple of mum’s that I met about the lack of midwife contact with baby number 2. One of the women had an easy pregnancy with baby number 1 but with number 2 she has pelvic girdle pain and seems to only have a couple of check ins with her midwives.
As she spoke it became clear that she had no idea who she was meant to speak to and she was not feeling comfortable that she knew what movements that she should be doing to release the tension and pain she felt in her pelvis.
After baby number 1 she was told that everything is back to normal after 6-12 weeks, that her postpartum body would be recovered...She was not given any guidance or support on exercises that she could do and was not aware of diastasis recti (abdominal separation). It is likely that her body is weaker after baby number 1 because she did not do any exercise to rebuild the strength in her muscles and tone in her ligaments.
So much of what she experienced is normal advice and normal treatment of women during pregnancy and postpartum and it is NOT ok.
Even if you have had a baby it doesn’t mean that your 2nd or 3rd pregnancy will be easy and simple. If you experienced any trauma in your first pregnancy or birth or if you were not communicated with in a way that empowered you, I have found that many women that I have worked with, have anxiety with baby number 2. Similarly to our children being unique and different individuals so too are a woman’s experience of pregnancy and birth.
Just to clarify, once your body has grown a human and birthed a human, either through c-section or vaginal birth, your body is not the same. It doesn’t mean to say that it is worse or weaker, but it has changed. Once your muscles and ligaments have stretched that far and are familiar with this new shape, when you bloat after eating it’s common to look pregnant (every day I have moments where I look 19 weeks pregnant). The skin becomes stretched but the muscles can become strong again, every woman that i have worked with, (myself included) is stronger than before they were pregnant. It took me 1.5 years to get back to a familiar level of strength and 2 years to surpass the strength and flexibility that I knew pre pregnancy. I have consistently trained and moved my body 3-5 times a week.
During pregnancy with the increase of relaxin the ligaments in the pelvis become more relaxed and if (like most people) you have muscles that aren’t balanced in strength/flexibility, your pelvis can become misaligned causing pain. In preparation for birth and postpartum it really helps to have a strength and mobility practice so that your joints and body generally are protected as possible. If you are globally strong in your whole body that would be the dream not just focusing on the pelvic floor and core.
For many of the women that I work with it isn’t until they become pregnant or are postpartum that they engage with their physical and emotional health in a serious way. A healthy and strong mind, body and lifestyle takes time to cultivate but luckily it isn’t a race. It’s an experience that takes a lifetime. It changes as you change and your needs change and unfortunately it’s not normally a journey that is started until something doesn’t feel right.
If something doesn’t feel right or you are at all worried, whether it is your first baby, second or third, call your GP insist that you see a pelvic floor specialist, or a birth trauma psychologist, or work with a pre and post natal coach/personal trainer (like me). You deserve to feel comfortable in your own body x x
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