TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT YOUR POST-BIRTH MUSCLES

  1. 33% of women develop a separation of their abdominal muscles known as a diastasis that is caused by weight gain and stretching of connective tissue and muscles during pregnancy.

    intra abdominal pressure
        Intra-abdominal Pressure
  1. Holding your breath when picking up your baby or having a bowel movement increases intra-abdominal pressure, straining the abdominal muscles. (We recommend the Squatty Potty, or propping your feet up on a small stool or even a stack of old telephone books!)

  1. Sit ups increase pressure in the abdomen and cause strain on weakened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
  1. Fascia (a sheet of connective tissue fibers) and the muscles sometimes recover slowly after having a baby. Orthotic supports like The Femme ® for the pelvic floor or a belly binder for the abdominals provide support while the muscles and connective tissues contract back to normal.
FEMME
                                The Femme ®                              
  1. Return to exercise should be a slow process after giving birth. Running is not recommended for most moms until at least six weeks after birth.
  1. Leaking after having a baby is common but should end no later than 6 months postpartum. 33% of women still leak beyond 6 months and should seek help strengthening the necessary muscles.
  1. Moms often cannot tell if they regained their normal alignment and posture. “Postural stacking” is important for balance and joint integrity.

  1. Sex should not be painful. Muscles often do not return to their pre-pregnancy resting level and can be either too tense or too loose.

  1. Pregnancy hormones continue to circulate through the body for three months post delivery or three months after nursing ends.

  1. Weak pelvic floor muscles are a serious health issue and can be divided into front, middle and back, corresponding to descent of the bladder, the uterus and the rectum.
b. Trunk stabilization: The pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles are linked. By activating the trunk correctly you can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help support the pelvic organs.
Trunk stabilization: The pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles are linked. By activating the trunk correctly you can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help support the pelvic organs.

Published by Dr. Cora T Huitt

Cora T. Huitt, PT, DPT, BCB-PMD ~Thirty seven years of clinical practice, specializing in women's health for fifteen years. ~BS Degree in Allied Health Professions, Ohio State University, '72. ~Master of Arts in College Teaching (MACT) focus in Physical Therapy & Therapeutic Exercise, University of North Carolina, '76. ~ Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Alabama State University, 2010 ~Attended multiple courses offered in Women's Health Physical Therapy, including Pelvic 1, 2, 3 Course in Women's Health Section APTA. ~Member of VPTA and APTA, Women's Health Section. ~BCIA-PMDB Biofeedback- Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction Biofeedback. ~Certified Pilates instructor, ProHealth. ~Affiliate member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. ~Member of International Continence Society. ~Member of National Vulvodynia Association. ~Adjunct Clinical Faculty for student affiliation at multiple universities. ~Director of APTA Women's Health Residency since 2007, credentialed in 2008. (only other residency at Duke Unviersity)

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