If there is one thing I hear almost daily it is "I WISH I KNEW ABOUT THIS BEFORE"... Before they started their HIIT classes after their exercise clearance at 6 weeks, pushing through mountain climbers and sit ups in their 8 week challenge. Before someone else THEY TRUSTED had the opportunity to CREATE or exacerbate their postpartum symptoms with well intended but frankly uneducated help.
One of the biggest problems is those symptoms might not be present at the start. So when you join up to that group, that challenge, it might actually feel ok and you get in the buzz of pushing hard. It could be 6 months later that you start to loose control of your bladder, you notice that 'coning out' in your tummy or that consistent back/hip pain.
We have tried to call out the PT's, the coaches, the very popular franchises and group fitness classes that are not taking responsibility for the potential damage they are causing to mums - brand new or not. We have contacted plunkets and midwifes and obstetricians and pre schools in the hope that someone will help get SAFE FITNESS (or at least the consequences of inappropriate exercise) information out there.
But the fact is, 1 in 3 women will experience some kind of PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION after having a baby. That is not reserved to vaginal births, although 1 in 2 of those will likely have some degree of prolapse.
As a fitness professional specialising in Pre and Postnatal fitness, I am in a privileged position to be able to hear about the REAL, raw experiences of mums - especially, unfortunately, the worst case scenarios that often potentially could have been avoided. I am trusted with information on leaking, on prolapse, on pelvic floor pressure - that I'd imagine is normally tip toed around. In all of my experience, I have never heard of a coach in a [functional fitness club] or [popular interval training franchise] discreetly check in, "hey how is your pelvic floor coping on this?!" or even answered an initial questionnaire asking about prolapse or leaking issues. Perhaps this is part of a bigger problem of simply NOT TALKING ABOUT IT due to embarrassment, but I have no doubt for the most part the awareness is just not there.
1 in 3 mums (and that's not only NEW mums!!!) will have some form of PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION. 1 in 3.
So my goal continues to be EMPOWERING WOMEN.
What are the symptoms you are experiencing? During class/exercise/movement, AFTER exercise, a few DAYS AFTER exercise? Can you pin point what movements are triggering it? If the exercise you are doing triggers it, why are you doing that exercise? (it could be running, so for example you are looking for that mental/emotional fill that running brings you. It could be a cardio group class your friends are doing and you don't want to miss out. It could be sit ups, because you thought it would make your tummy flat). There are no right and wrongs - but there is high risk and low risk, and then symptom management. You have the CHOICE of what you would like to do - but empower yourself to make that choice fully informed of the consequences and of your other options.
SAFE training via HardCORE Fitness is held in Christchurch - Halswell, Papanui, Lincoln. Also ONLINE so that you can do it ANYWHERE and ANYTIME that suits you.