This week I spoke with a local moms’ group about several things you won’t hear at your 6 week check-up…but need to when it comes to healing your core postpartum. I had such a great time sharing with these moms some tools they can implement immediately to kickstart better core and pelvic floor function as a mom, and one of the things we touched on was this idea that you just have to learn to deal with the core and pelvic floor issues you are experiencing right now because it’s all “part of being a mom”.
Not true!! Not true at all!
Can you tell that this is one of my personal pet peeves?
Why do we have to set women up and lead them to believe that having a baby means you are doomed to a life filled with pee-sneezes, an achy neck and back, or a core that feels like it left the building…permanently?
It’s simply untrue.
And yes…while many of these issues are common to experience after baby, they do not need to be a normal part of postpartum life.
We need to realize that this issues are instead your body’s way of telling you that it’s out of balance and unable to manage intra-abdominal pressure well.
So for this week…I’m going to cover a few very common postpartum issues that many will tell you that you just need to put up with, but know that you do ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED TO TOLERATE them and THEY CAN BE FIXED!
1.) Your core feels like it took a permanent vacation after pregnancy:
2.) You leak urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump, lift, or exercise:
3.) Your Vaginal Wall Feels Weak…aka you feel like you can’t keep a tampon inside:
4.) Your lower back feels tight all of the time:
Nothing will make you feel older than you really are like a chronically achy lower back. You have some muscles that run along the side of your spine called the paraspinals that become overworked and tight when the core is weak. Essentially, these back muscles start doing the work for the core when it slacks off. Retraining and strengthening the core lets those back muscles relax a bit and release all of the tension they’ve been holding on to for so long!. Back tightness and the sense that you always need to stretch your lower back will diminish as you bring core back into balance.
5.) Neck & Shoulder Discomfort:
The tightness and discomfort you feel in your neck and shoulders may not seem related to the changes of pregnancy, but it absolutely is because there are chain reactions that happen all throughout your body…especially when it comes to your muscles. Think about nursing, rocking and holding a baby in the postpartum period. Most women are so tense, stressed out, and sleep deprived that they have a tendency to carry all of that stress through their neck and shoulders, and it’s reinforced through poor feeding, rocking, and holding positions with baby. It’s also another way that your body creates stability when your core isn’t working well enough to stabilize.
Now, add to this the fact that most women become chest breathers after baby as a result of the constant stress keeping them in fight or flight mode. All of these factors contribute to neck and shoulder tension and tightness. Here’s a quick little routine you can do to help relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. We work cover lots of mobility work and soft tissue massage in Restore My Core because restoring your core postpartum is SO much more than a few simple exercises to do. It’s a whole body and multi-dimensional approach.
If you are struggling with any of these issues, know that you are NOT alone. I work with women every day to help them strengthen and re-balance their postpartum body. I’d love to help you heal too. If you are interested, you can go here to sign up and get started!