The more I work with moms, helping them return to exercise, heal diastasis and recover from other postpartum symptoms, I notice a recurring scenario.
Almost all of the moms I interact with, are putting together a support team AFTER pregnancy and well into their postpartum period.
They don’t know about their pelvic floor and how pregnancy alone can affect it. Many have never heard of prolapse and are unsure about how diastasis affects their entire body mechanics.
It’s common to think “I’m healthy and strong – those things won’t affect me!”, because there are limited resources giving moms credible knowledge about the risks.
A lot of the moms I speak to tell me “I was fine after my first/second/third, I don’t understand what happened this time.”
Many women don’t even know that they can (and should) start very early on, taking their pelvic health and overall wellness in account.
Especially if you are active and want to continue living a physically active lifestyle during and after pregnancy.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in pregnancy and the ongoing changes in our bodies, and forget that prenatally, is actually the best time to start seeking out and choosing the team of professionals that will help you feel your best, through pregnancy and beyond.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know how your body will respond or recover from the effects of pregnancy & delivery, and each subsequent pregnancy. So having a plan in mind and a team that encourages and supports your wishes, will allow you recover quicker and enjoy your postpartum stage with less stress and worry.
Here are my top choices for consideration towards your team and why each of them is a significant asset to every mom.
1. Choose an OBGYN, midwife or doula to prepare you and guide you through pregnancy and to delivery. Most women automatically opt in for their OBGYN because they are unfamiliar with their choices. However, both a doula or a midwife are excellent options depending on your health and personal birth wishes.
- Doulas are non-medical professionals who support women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and in the first few months of the life of their new baby. A doula will be your advocate and right hand person during all stages of pregnancy & delivery.
- The midwifery scope of practice includes providing primary care to low risk clients and their newborns through pregnancy, birth and 6 weeks postpartum. If having a home birth is your wish, then a midwife can coach you through the process.
No matter which option you choose, be clear about your wishes for your body and demand that you are heard and respected.
2. Ask your local moms groups, friends or family for recommendations to a local pelvic health physio. Do this DURING your pregnancy. Many women believe this is a postnatal service, but being pre-emptive during pregnancy, will give you your best chances for recovery after baby arrives. A pelvic health physio will be able to give you a better understanding of the intricacies of your pelvic floor, core and the changes you will experience during pregnancy & postpartum.
3. Book a consult with a pre/postnatal fitness specialist no later than your second trimester of pregnancy. The days of listening to “keep doing it if you did it before” or “just listen to your body” are over. This advice is outdated and the cause of many women getting injured or exacerbating symptoms that are manageable with proper programming. Your body is changing and so should your training. Do your research and make sure your trainer can back up their claims of being a pre/postnatal specialist. Ask for referrals, inquire about the ongoing education they pursue and if the personality is a fit. (arrange a consult with me HERE) Even if you’re not athletically inclined, the right coach can help you manage pain, discomfort and other symptoms you experience during and after pregnancy.
4. Choose your lactation and sleep consultant. Both of these services can make or break the stress level a new mom has. If you’re committed to breastfeeding, why not find the right lactation consultant for you NOW, instead of waiting to see what happens when baby arrives? And we all know sleep is a precious commodity to new parents, making a sleep consultant one of the most important and often overlooked member of your team. Many experts in this area will have free downloads (like Bethany Jacobs/Latched & Attached) so you can get a feel for how they can play a role in your new routine.
Becoming a new mom, no matter how many times you’ve done it, can be overwhelming. Asking for help, and knowing where you could use the most help and support along the way is so important for each mom.
It can be difficult asking for help from those around us, but by creating a plan and a team of professionals, you can rest assured that they have your back.
For more information on training while pregnant or postpartum, be sure to download my free “Moms Return to Training” today!