POSTNATAL Body Part 2
THE BABY IS HEREEEEEEEE ........
So ladies the baby is HERE. Life has changed BIG TIME. Life as you knew it will never be the same again……….not that you’d ever want it to be of course ! What's not to love.... a cute baby ( your own baby is always way cuter than anyone else's have you noticed that ? ), that gorgeous just out the bath baby smell, the little baby grows hanging out on the line, ahhhhhhh.
One of my postnatal Pilates ladies said to me recently.
'See in the past when I used to say I was busy, I WAS NOT BUSY. I thought I was busy, but no, I WAS NOT BUSY.' That made me giggle.
It’s so long ago for me now but I can just about remember the early days. I honestly felt so out my depth. I had never changed a nappy before or really spent any time around babies. It had only been the two of us for ten years then this little gorgeous girl joined us. I was so chuffed that I had done it. I was all grown up and had actually given birth. This may sound silly but this is coming from the girl who couldn’t handle a bikini wax (still can’t but hey it’s worth it – right?).
So on to more important things following on with my second blog on the postnatal body. In this blog I wanted to chat about what’s normal and what’s common after having your baby.
You’ve left hospital armed with baby in the car seat and the all important postnatal leaflet. You may or may not have had a physiotherapist chat. Once home and settled, it goes without saying that sleepless nights, staying in your pyjamas until lunchtime and generally looking like you’ve been dragged out of bed backwards is pretty common. I read a really funny facebook post recently which my lovely pregnancy and postnatal Pilates client Laura has said I could share on my next blog…..
'Poo flew out and hit the curtains. True story.'
Takes ‘expect the unexpected’ to a whole new level eh !!! Anyway I digress. If you’d had your baby you’ll know a lot of what you are about to read and if you haven’t, then I hope to shed some light on things you may experience in the postnatal period.
Postnatal bleeding Lochia
Lochia is what we call postnatal discharge and generally consists of blood and tissue shed from the lining of the uterus. It’s completely normal and tends to be red in the initial few days after birth. This should eventually lighten in colour as the days go on. It should be over by your six week mark but when does it become NOT normal ? Firstly it should NOT become dark and then become brighter again. Any clots should be checked with your GP. In addition elevated temperature coupled with cold sweat and headaches should be investigated.
Your Pelvic Floor
Ok so your lady bits may have taken a bit of a battering. You may have bruised tissues and if you need some relief, Michelle Lyon Chartered Physiotherapist and specialising in women’s health physio suggests cooling the tissues with a non latex condom – popped in the fridge with chilled water. Gently place on the bruised area. It’s also advisable to drink lots of water to help dilute strong urine and pelvic floor exercises absolutely go without saying. Here’s a thought. I have a group of pregnant ladies in class and will always ask – Are you doing your pelvic floor exercises? Ladies who’ve already had a baby will normally be first to speak up first. ‘Yip me’ as their hand flies up into the air !!! Ladies who have had a baby already get the big picture, they do them because they know and have experienced first hand how important pelvic floor exercises are. This is something I always teach in both my Pregnancy and postnatal Pilates classes but actually these are important even outwith this time in our lives.
Going for a bowel movement
Ladies often worry about this. Ensure you don't hold breath or use 'purple pushing' and use something under your feet to bring your knees higher than our hips. This will allow a better passage for pooing !! Try putting your feet on two toilet rolls or yoga blocks.
C section scar
I've been lucky enough to have experienced both a standard vaginal delivery and a C section. Ok that doesn’t sound right does it? What I mean is I’ve experienced it so I understand it. Here’s my top tips….
Firstly it’s important to support the incision site after a c section. Little things like going for a bowel movement or the dreaded sneeze or cough can be a little bit frightening. Holding a rolled up pillow over your tummy can help.
You also want to be careful when lifting anything. Ideally you don’t want to be lifting or holding anything heavier than your baby but here’s a fact………. Sitting down and then standing up causes more intra-abdominal pressure than lifting 20 pounds. It’s therefore crucial that you begin to learn how to move properly, breathe properly and learn how best to switch on your pelvic floor. We cover these fundamentals in my PREGNANCY PILATES classes. I’ll also teach you these techniques in POSTNATAL PILATES.
Incontinence/Pelvic floor dysfunction/prolapse
Although these issues don’t affect all women , they do for some and I urge you to speak up if you are concerned about any of the symptoms I’m about to cover. Do NOT suffer in silence. If you are told by your doctor that these issues are normal after having a baby, please ask to be referred to a women’s health physiotherapist. I am a great believer that we know best. Don’t be embarrassed and get the right help. Small things now could become bigger things in the future. So WHATS NOT NORMAL?
· Ongoing bleeding or passing clots
· Urinary incontinence. Do you leak or struggle to get to the toilet?
· Faecal incontinence, in particular leaking gas or staining on your underwear?
· Bulging tissues from the vagina
I can certainly recommend a private women's health physiotherapist at Nuffield Hospitals Glasgow, so get in touch if you need more information.
As a pre and postnatal exercise specialist I’m making it my mission to educate and inspire women to look after their postnatal body and take their time in healing. Now is not the time to jump into your pre pregnancy exercise programme. You’ve heard it before, nine months in, nine months out but unfortunately I still see Mums doing too much too soon. Worse still, they pay the price for it. Education is power.
What you do now in your postnatal period can affect you later in life.
Do you want to increase your risk of prolapse and risk of incontinence in ten years’ time by doing the wrong thing now in your quest to get your pre pregnancy shape back? Worse still, do you have leakages post pregnancy when you sneeze or cough but have decided to go for a run anyway?
JOIN ME IN the Postnatal body part 3 coming soon where I’ll talk about :
· the do’s and don’ts of early postnatal exercise …
If you’d like to register for POSTNATAL PILATES , see FAQS, dates, venues and costs click right here
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