What kind of concerns/problems can an exercise physiologist help me with after birth?
There are a lot of physiological changes to our bodys during pregnancy and after we have our babies. We use exercise as medicine to help with weight management (both in achieving a healthy weight gain during pregnancy, and losing it after birth), gestational diabetes mellitus & type II diabetes mellitus management, lower back pain and shoulder and neck pain, active birth and labour preparation, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), fatigue, post-natal depression and anxiety, as well as improving your fertility if you suffer from conditions like PCOS and underactive thyroids.
All exercises are safe, functional and individualised to give you the best return on your time investment! (We know how time poor new mothers can be). I also have training in nutrition for fertility, pregnancy and lactation, to assist women in maintaining a healthy diet through this busy period.
I have a new baby – what can I do to protect my spine and ensure correct posture when carrying / breastfeeding etc?
Spending a lot of time in that feeding posture, with rounded shoulders and weak abdominal muscles can cause poor posture and lower back pain. Strengthening your upper back and shoulders, and opening up the tight muscles in your chest can improve your posture and protect your lower back.
Try to use posture imagery like keeping your eyeline high, keeping your shoulders away from your ears, spreading your weight evenly between your feet, and gently drawing your belly button to spine (but not holding your breath) to activate your abdominal muscles to support you. Stretching your triceps, chest and back after feeding can also provide relief from tight muscles.
Why can’t I get rid of my “mummy-tummy” with exercise and diet alone?
Your body goes though a lot of changes during pregnancy and birth, and a common issue post partum is diastasis recti (abdominal separation). Diastasis recti is very common, 2 out of 3 mums will have some level of abdominal separation. A weak core can cause lower back pain, a weak pelvic floor and a “mummy tummy” appearance. This separation is best to be fixed prior to beginning any high impact or high intensity exercise back at the gym, and can be made worse through the wrong exercises. We can help, through #exercise and nutritional advice, to reconnect with those core muscles! It is important to understand that your fitness and weight loss goals may not be possible while these abdominal, lower back and pelvic floor muscles are not functioning optimally. We can help, through exercise, to reconnect and rehabilitate these muscles, improve your posture and tummy appearance and help you to progress safely back to a full gym program.
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