Posts tagged pelvic floor
Confused About Postpartum Symptoms? This Can Help...
 
Take Charge of Your Health with Duo Diary
 

When you have a baby, you at some point become privvy to all the postpartum secrets that no one talks about- you know, what happens after giving birth. Conversations with other new moms are dominated by diapers, sleep, breastfeeding, nipple shapes (yours and the bottle’s), and mostly, all the postpartum symptoms that are now part of our new normal (like diastasis recti).

Or are they?

Common or Normal?

Recently, I was talking with a girlfriend who had a baby. She nodded in knowing recognition as I described pelvic girdle pain symptoms (also known as SPD or symphysis pubic dysfunction) and suddenly we were comparing brands of postpartum belts (I can assure you, postpartum belts were not in our vocabulary before having a baby). Like lots of new moms busy and focused on taking care of their new baby, she brushed off her symptoms and hoped it would go away. Luckily for her, it did.

Lots of women out there experience some really common symptoms that get ignored- by themselves or by their doctor. It’s as though we are led to believe that common means it’s normal. But most of the time, postpartum symptoms are not normal.

Take my friend. She was told she’d “just had a baby and it would go away.”

It’s also part of why Duo Diary was created, so that women can start to demand better care for themselves after they have a baby. Postpartum symptoms shouldn’t just be “a new normal.” They should be addressed. Just because lots of women experience symptoms after having a baby doesn’t mean it’s normal (remember, common ≠ normal). It actually probably means that in America, we’ve got a massive problem caring for postpartum women.

Dr. Google to the Rescue?

My friend and I talked about how we spent hours googling our issues, hoping to find any blog or website that would a)explain what it was and b)how we could make our symptoms go away. Depending on the symptoms, sometimes we could find answers and sometimes we couldn’t.

In my case, I began keeping notes in my first Duo Diary ‘prototype’ (= a notepad) about my symptoms, when I experienced them, what triggered them, what seemed to make them feel better. I googled the patterns I noticed in my notes, and finally marched into my OB’s office one day armed with my Duo Diary and a list of potential ailments I thought it could be. She patiently went over each one with me, listening as I rattled off symptoms that I had jotted down and the potential ailments Dr. Google had found. This helped us pinpoint specific issues that were getting overlooked.

How to Take Charge of Your Health

After that appointment, my OB gave me a prescription for a women’s health physical therapist (also called pelvic floor physical therapy) and I finally started to get the help I needed. (You can find a PT in your area through the links on our Resources page).

This is when I realized the power of journaling for postpartum women. The hard fact is, there isn’t a great safety net for postpartum women in the US, so it is up to us and those around us to be our own safety net. Is it unfair? Yup. But that’s why products like Duo Diary exist (and also why we love promoting other women-led companies that are just for mom)- to help us moms be our best, healthiest, and happiest selves. 

Our second edition is out now! Shop now-->

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.

How This Little Tool Can Help You Feel Better After Having a Baby
 
 

When I first had my baby, I imagined I’d take it easy for the first few weeks, then get right back into workouts after I was cleared for exercise at my 6 week checkup. At my checkup, I was cleared- and as a runner, boy I could not wait. I had felt incredibly off since giving birth and wanted to feel like "me" again after having a baby. So, I jumped right back in, anxious to lose the baby weight.

First, I started doing things like yoga and some simple weight exercises. Then, out of desperation to 'feel/look like myself again,' I had the genius idea of jumping into a hard core strength and conditioning program I had used for years that had always helped me lose weight. It’s also a program that is meant for athletes or people who are already fit.

Not so great for a lady who just had a baby.

 
postpartum exercise
 

It didn’t take long before the loosey-goosey feeling I had in my joints gave way to actual pain- in my hips, my back, my groin muscles...pretty much everything hurt. This time I chalked up the postpartum pain to the "I just had a baby, this is normal" explanation so many women give themselves, not realizing that none of it was normal. Common, maybe - but not normal.

How to Take Control of Your Postpartum Health

By this point, I was writing down a lot of health info for my baby, so I started jotting down my postpartum pain symptoms in the same journal. When I felt them, what seemed to trigger them, what kind of pain it felt like. 

Around 4 months postpartum I finally went to my OB because I had reached the point where daily function was really difficult, really painful, and my journaling didn't lie- I wasn't feeling great. I showed her my journal, and she suggested I go see a women's health physical therapist.

So I went.

It turned out I had a whole host of issues- some rare (osteitis pubis, common in hockey players and soccer players...and apparently the occasional lady who just had a baby), some common (diastasis recti). But what I gained from going was an education on what actually happens to your body after having a baby, how important postpartum care is, and the tools to start healing.

I now know there are many women out there who are unknowingly suffering because they just don’t know what is normal and what isn’t after having a baby.

This is why I started Duo Diary - I wanted to make sure other women were becoming more aware of their health after having a baby, too. (A little self care goes a long way!)

So how do you make sure that you are doing things that are healing and safe for your postpartum body? How do you know if you might have something going on that needs addressing?

This is where a Duo Diary can help you. Here are some tips on what to write down in your journal so that when you go to a healthcare professional, you know exactly what to tell them: 

Do you hurt after sitting, standing, walking, wearing certain shoes?

Are you in pain? What kind of pain? Throbbing, aching, stabbing?

What's your pain level? 

Do you feel sort of weak, or just not like your old self physically but can't really figure out why?

Pay attention and jot down what feels off, what specifically doesn't feel like "you."

Having this info is a goldmine when you walk into a doctor or physical therapists' office. These are all details that can help your providers figure out what your issue is and get you on track to healing. 

What have you noticed since having a 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.

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Truth About That Post Baby Tummy Pooch
 
Photo by  Jenna Norman  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash

 

When most women have a baby, things aren't feeling anywhere near normal for a long time. That's normal. 

Many women also go months of not feeling good, of feeling "off," and of being told this is their new normal now that they've had a kid. 

That's not normal. Common, maybe. But not normal.

Listen, weird things happen to your body when you have a baby. That's not a surprise. What is a surprise is how little women are educated on what actually happened or is happening to our bodies. 

One really common, yet often overlooked condition? Diastasis Recti. 

What is Diastasis Recti?

A quick explanation: diastasis recti is a separation of your abdominal wall. And as we all know, your abdominals make up part of your "core," and without a strong and fully functional core, everything (and I mean everything) is off. 

According to Mutu System, a functional exercise program for new moms (of which we are so obsessed we are an affiliate), diastasis recti occurs when: 

"the linea alba (mid-line connective tissue) is stretched and weakened at the front of the abdomen...the 'gap' narrows naturally in the days and weeks following childbirth, but often doesn't come back together completely on its own, resulting in instability and weakness of the core and a 'pooch' stomach or 'mummy tummy'."

Confused? Here's a handy infographic, courtesy of Mutu:

In other words, your core muscles just aren’t functioning properly- and this can create many other often treatable symptoms that might otherwise seem unrelated to your core (no matter what Depends tries to sell you).

How To Heal Diastasis Recti

First things first, find a women’s health/pelvic floor physical therapist that specializes in postpartum physical therapy. (You can search the directory listed on our RESOURCES page). Second, there are numerous at-home postpartum exercise programs out there that aim to help women heal their diastasis recti through specific exercises.

Last, don’t panic. So if you’ve got a Duo Diary, start jotting down any symptoms that just don’t feel right and take your journal with you to your OB and postpartum physical therapist.

Then, you’ll get on the path to healing and feeling better in no time.

More resources:

http://www.pelvicpainrehab.com/diastasis-recti/2306/fix-diastasis-recti/

https://mutusystem.com/mutu-system-blog/diastasis-recti-its-not-just-about-muscles

https://mutusystem.com/mutu-system-blog/you-can-have-a-flat-tummy-and-a-small-diastasis-recti-i-have

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.

The Story Behind Morskap- A Postpartum Health Site
 
woman looking out.jpg
 

By guest blogger Yana, creator of Morskap, A Postpartum Health Site. You can find out more by visiting morskap.com

In the course of incubating a new human, I discovered a sea of helpful (though not ideal) resources on how to become pregnant, surviving pregnancy and labor, and taking care of a new human who is limited to a binary means of communication (to cry, or not to cry, that is the question). What I felt missing was a resource specifically focused on postpartum recovery.

Having gone through the biggest bodily and emotional change of my life, I had lots of questions:

  • How long before I heal given my mode of delivery?

  • What exercise can I do in the meantime?

  • What special postpartum exercises (kegels?) should I do and when? Are there helpful equipment for that?

  • Which things will never go back to normal?

  • What’s the most flattering and comfortable clothes to cover this beast in?

  • Is it normal to feel [choose your own adventure]? Is it normal to still feel that? How about now?

  • OMG breastfeeding! So painful and everyone talks about it as if it’s wonderful and beautiful. Can I skip it? Is it taboo to even ask?

  • How do you best split parenting responsibilities with my partner?

  • What are some things to think about when going back to work?

  • What emotions to expect around all of the above issues?

Some of these questions I’ve talked with other moms about, but I found that the answers varied based on things like preexisting health, how each pregnancy and labor went, the personality of the mom, her partner, and the baby. I live in a city where women often don’t have children until they feel like they are in a good place in their careers. So my network of moms wasn’t large enough to cover each possible scenario. Some things I just wasn’t comfortable discussing in person. In the beginning, I didn’t feel like talking with anyone. I felt like I didn’t have the time to do it. Searching for answers online seemed like a good idea, but it turned out to be too time consuming. There was sooo much noise!

So I created a consolidated resource for questions around being a new mom: morskap.com. This resource explains why new moms may be sweating a lot at night, why running may not be a great idea if experiencing pelvic pressure, and lots of other things that I and some of my friends were curious about after birth. I thought that it may be helpful to other moms that don’t have the time or inclination to search for the best answers. New moms are grappling with caring for a little one, possibly trying to go back to work, and generally staying optimistic (remember: every fifth mom suffers from postpartum depression!).

Hope you find Morskap helpful and feel free to reach out to me at yana@morskap.com if you have feedback.

Mutu Mamas!

We're big converts of the Mutu System here at Duo Diary, and encourage all postpartum women to care for themselves in healthy, healing ways! Check out this great article on how soon you can 'get back to it' after having a baby.

 

"..you cannot strengthen muscles that aren’t functioning optimally. If its not working, you can’t make it stronger. All that will happen instead is that other parts of your body – namely your abdomen, or pelvic floor, will take up the strain…Or not. Because when intra abdominal pressure is just too much for these non-functioning muscles to withstand… they blow. Leaking urine, prolapse, hernia, diastasis recti, a pooching mummy tummy… these are signs of a core not working right.

Mutu System for Postpartum Health & Exercise!

Mamas, if you've had a baby, ever, please check out the MuTu System, an entire body approach to healing and strengthening post-child (even if you had your baby 10 years ago!). This system is intended to help heal diastasis, improve pelvic floor function, and tone and strengthen overall. Wendy Powell also goes into detail in her videos about alignment and why moms get that persistent pooch (and how to get rid of it, hint, it's not more cardio, more cardio, more cardio). Check it out: http://bit.ly/2bo3esp

Diastasis Recti 101 Infographic

Ladies! Check out this infographic on a very common post-pregnancy condition called diastasis recti. So much changes in a woman's body after giving birth, yet we all wonder why our old workout routines aren't doing the trick to get rid of 'mummy tummy.' Here's some insight on what's going on and how to fix it!

Here's to Feeling Good....


This quote really spoke to me- I think this is especially the case in postpartum women who may chalk up their symptoms as 'normal' (or, as in many cases unfortunately, they are told this by their healthcare practitioner). If you aren't feeling well (mentally or physically) please ask your OB/GYN for referrals -from women's health physical therapists to mental health professionals who specialize in postpartum health, there is a network of help out there! Check out our Resources page for more help!

Feeling good quote
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