Posts tagged fitness
An Interview With: BIRTHFIT

Here at Duo Diary, we are all about providing new mothers with tools and resources to make healing after childbirth easier. Information about HOW to heal shouldn't be hard to access -and let's face it, most women don't even realize they NEED to heal. There are so many questions women have after having a baby: breastfeeding and pumping tips, pubic symphysis symptoms, diastasis recti,  self care ideas for new moms, what exercises are best for postpartum women. While many women have these questions and so many more- there is not nearly enough information readily available at the fingertips of new moms. We aim to help change that by highlighting companies whose purpose is rooted in helping pregnant and/or postpartum women. This month, we are SUPER excited to be sharing BIRTHFIT- a company focused on helping moms get and stay strong using their four pillars: Fitness, Nutrition, Chiropractic, and Mindset. BIRTHFIT has many online programs, as well as access to Regional Directors across the country, so that you can access the BIRTHFIT knowledge no matter where you live.  We recently chatted with BIRTHFIT to find out more about what they do and how they can help women like you. Read more about BIRTHFIT below:

Explain what Birthfit is and why it was started:

BIRTHFIT is an educated, empowered state of readiness - specific to childbirth - that is achieved through an evolved practice in fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, and mindset.  BIRTHFIT is a movement that was created to change the way the world views birth.  Our goal is to cultivate awareness and enhance education through the Motherhood Transition by developing and producing one of a kind BIRTHFIT experiences through in-person classes and distance learning so that women have the space to make their own informed, intuitively guided choices.  

What types of women/situations do you work with most frequently? What usually brings a client to you?:

Women come to us when they decide that they want to experience an empowered, educated Motherhood Transition.  Anywhere between preconception through any point postpartum, the transition into motherhood deserves attention as well as intention.  We see women throughout this transitional time period typically because they want guidance on movements during pregnancy, details on core and pelvic floor health, or are looking for a total approach to taking care of themselves as they grow and nurture other humans.  We typically see women because others have told them about BIRTHFIT, and we love those referrals. 

What are some examples of programs or services that you offer?:

We offer courses in person as well as online.  We work with women in person through our various BIRTHFIT Regional Directors, who offer the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series (a childbirth education course), BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series Breath & Flow and BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series (unique group rehabilitation courses), consultations, prenatal training, and community events; we also work with coaches and professionals to introduce them to BIRTHFIT at our seminars.  This year we're opening up the annual BIRTHFIT Summit for a one day community event as well!  We offer online support through programs such as Before the Bump, Prenatal Programming, and Postpartum Programming; as well as consultations with our team and webinars on various topics.  We have a ton of free content via our blogs, webinars, podcast, and YouTube channel.  

What are some of the most common misconceptions that you see about postpartum recovery and exercise in pregnancy/postpartum?:

There are so many misconceptions.  Essentially, society has everything backwards: we think of pregnancy as a fragile state and postpartum as the "bounce back" time.  In reality, pregnancy is the ultimate expression of female fitness and the postpartum period is when women need extra care, support, and patience.  Pregnant women are incredibly capable, and their exercise routines can reflect that in an intentional way.  Melissa Hemphill (the BIRTHFIT Coach lead) likens activities during pregnancy to putting a fork in a microwave: just because you *can* do something doesn't mean it's a good idea.  But we don't modify movements for pregnant women; instead, we train intentionally with the pregnant body in mind.  Our workouts aren't just about moving around with a bump: we train to prepare for labor and to enhance core stability throughout pregnancy.  

On the postpartum side, there's this idea about some magical six-week green light.  Research tells us that ligaments take approximately 280 days to heal, and there are plenty of ligamentous changes that happen during pregnancy; to only take six weeks to allow your body to recover is crazy!  But unfortunately, a lot of women are instructed to suck in their belly in order to strengthen their core or heal a diastasis, when this couldn't be further from the truth.  We teach core stability based on the principles of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization and the developmental kinesiology of how all humans learn to move.  Sucking in, pulling the belly button to the spine, and other similar cues are all the opposite of how humans stabilize appropriately.  (I suppose a succinct answer to your question would be "everything"!)

What do you wish women knew about postpartum recovery?:

I wish more women knew how important it is to recover completely.  I wish they knew that chiropractic care and pelvic floor physical therapy are essential and I wish that these appointments were as automatic as the six-week postpartum check-up that women go to their OB or midwife for.  

We divide the postpartum period into four phases: 

0-2 weeks is the co-regulation period

2-6 weeks is the recovery period

6-12 weeks is the rehabilitation period

12 weeks-12 months is the rebuilding period

That's a year worth of intentional recovery that we emphasize.  Many women expect to be "normal" within six weeks, and don't have the guidance or information from their support system to expect otherwise.  We're doing ourselves a disservice by not taking the time to heal, reset, and nourish our bodies in the postpartum time period.  

What have you learned from the women you've worked with?:

Every single woman that we encounter has something to teach us.  The most valuable lesson I've learned is to simply be patient and allow moms to express themselves how/when they're comfortable.  Some women need and want to share things immediately, while others need some time and space to reflect before diving in.  I think the most valuable lesson I've learned has been getting rid of "shoulds" in the Motherhood Transition.  Each woman is on her own journey, and we're just here to support them through that. 

How would you like to see pregnancy & postpartum care change in the US?:

In a word: drastically.  Like I said, we have things reversed.  I would love to see pregnant women celebrated for their incredible vitality and life-giving capabilities.  I would love to see postpartum women nurtured and supported by their communities, providers, and society in general.  I see this happening through education, and we're already noticing the differences within our communities where BIRTHFIT is represented.  We are working on uniting birth practitioners in the BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar so that there isn't such a disconnect.  We've brought OBs, PTs, and DCs together with nutritionists, doulas, coaches, and childbirth educators; together we're changing the way that women receive care throughout the Motherhood Transition. 

Where can our readers find out more about Birthfit?:

We love connecting with people!  Ideally, we'd meet women through our Regional Directors (there are almost 100 of us!).  You can find a BIRTHFIT Regional Director near you at www.BIRTHFIT.com.  There you can also look for a BIRTHFIT Professional or BIRTHFIT Coach to work with.  You can sign up for our online programs, subscribe to our newsletter, read up on our blog, watch our free webinars, or hop over to the BIRTHFIT Podcast!  And, of course, you can follow us on social media @BIRTHFIT!  We would love to connect with you soon! 

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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How to Get Your Body Back After Having A Baby
 
Get Back in Shape After Baby
 
This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

If you Google, "how to get your body back after having a baby" you'll get a whopping 13,700,000 results. "Do this exercise to shed pounds!" "Eat this or don't eat that to get back to your pre-baby weight!"

Most likely, very few of these results will say "how to heal your body after childbirth" or "do these exercises to regain pre-baby function!"

Look, wanting to get back to your pre-baby weight is a real and valid concern. Women want and need to feel like themselves again after the life-changing upheaval of having a baby.

But what if, instead of revering celebrities who walked a runway 8 weeks after birth, we focused on allowing a woman to heal, then start exercising in a way that's appropriate for whatever hand she was dealt in childbirth so that ultimately, she can be even stronger. 

You will (WILL) get back to regaining your identity and pieces of yourself (physically and mentally), no matter how far off that may feel right now. But instead of pushing through pain and dysfunction to do it, let's flip the narrative so that "getting your body back after having a baby" means instead to regain function, heal, and re-learn how your new body works in the post-baby world.

So here's a NEW list- instead of "drop pounds now" lists, here are 4 ways to REALLY get your body back!

1. Find a Physical Therapist

But not just any physical therapist- specifically, look for a physical therapist who specializes in women's health issues, sometimes called a "women's health PT" or a "pelvic floor PT." You should be able to get a referral from your OB, but sadly this is often not the case- so if you aren't finding that avenue helpful, then check out our RESOURCES page to find some directories. You'll quickly come to understand why this is standard care for postpartum women in many other countries, like France. 

2. Eat For Your Nutritional Needs

First and foremost, work closely with your healthcare provider! The point is, your needs are probably different than they were before having a baby, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Try this, this, and this article for a helpful starting point. Some cultures even believe you should consume certain foods to help with the healing process - try checking out The First Forty Days by Heng Ou for more on this. If you can afford it, find a nutritionist to help you on this path (find one on our RESOURCES page).

3. Core City

OK, everyone knows you aren't supposed to exercise prior to getting clearance from your doctor, but what about after? How much, and what, should you do? You should discuss this with your healthcare provider, but there are many programs out there specifically tailored to postpartum women. These programs vary but all are focused on helping postpartum women regain function in their core musculature, healing diastasis recti, and restoring pelvic floor function - all important aspects that should be functioning again before you start 'regular' exercise. Try Restore Your Core, Mutu System, or Hab It. (Know of other programs? Leave a suggestion in the comments.)

4. Self Care

Say what now? You've got a newborn and probably haven't showered in two days, and now you are supposed to worry about self care? Look, self care doesn't have to mean taking 30 minutes to do a face mask in your bathroom (although it can). Self care can be really simplified - sometimes, it's about taking 5 minutes to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea while flipping through a magazine without feeling guilty or worrying about all the other things you want to get done while the baby is napping. Maybe it means taking 5 minutes to journal in your Duo Diary, or maybe it means calling a friend. Get creative- a few minutes here and there of YOU TIME can go a long way. (Here's a great list to get you started). 

How did you help yourself heal after childbirth?

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

This post may contain affiliate links

Pelvic Floor Health and Fitness

There are so many important physical changes women's bodies go through post-childbirth, and taking care of your pelvic floor is one of the easiest ways to take care of your physical health. This article is a great explanation of what your pelvic floor muscles do in daily activities and just how important they are for overall fitness. To find a pelvic floor physical therapist near you, click here

'"You're dealing with a problem in the kinetic chain. If it's not addressed, the body will start to compensate further down the chain."'

Read the full article here