Last week I had my 6 week post natal assessment with my colleagues at The Studio. I was excited to get some baseline measures, come up with a plan to get back into Pilates and nut out some personal goals like return to running!
What happens in a post natal assessment at The Studio.? Each assessment is completely unique to the individual and their pre and post- natal journey…...
For me it started with a yarn and a good old catch up with the boss, she misses me! We then moved on to chat about how I am going in my newborn bubble and how my body is feeling. Between breastfeeding, falling asleep on the couch in compromising positions and holding my newborn in awkward positions for long periods of time I have developed some back discomfort and a little tightness through my upper body. After assessment of my posture, range of movement through my back, pelvic stability and any potential abdominal separation we moved onto assessing my core using the real-time ultrasound. I then had some hands on treatment involving soft tissue massage, joint mobilisations and dry needling.
The most unique and important part of a post-natal assessment at The Studio is the assessment of your deep core muscles and pelvic floor via the real time ultrasound.
Here are a few reasons why:
You actually get to see your “core” muscles in action and learn how to effectively switch them on. This may feel somewhat difficult post-partum as your proprioception (awareness) of these muscles may be slightly dampened, particularly if you have had a caesarean section (major abdominal surgery).
We can see your deep core muscles in different positions relative to your functional needs such as sitting and squatting.
Your Pelvic Floor is assessed!! So important after your pregnancy journey regardless if you have had a vaginal birth or caesarean section. Regardless of how your pregnancy journey ends you have still spent 9 months with your baby placing extra pressure on your pelvic floor muscles. It is important to assess the strength and endurance of these muscles post-partum so we can give you some basic pelvic floor strength exercises to get you safely back to your pre-baby function, especially if you are planning on having more bubbas!
Once you can visualise these muscles in action your awareness of these areas increases allowing you to gain the most out of your exercise and everyday activity whether it is bending down to pick up your baby or holding yourself elegantly in double leg table top during your favourite Pilates class.
The old saying practice what you preach rings true here! After the boss assessed my core and pelvic floor I have been sent home with some pelvic floor exercises to ensure my return to running and more high intensity exercise is smooth and injury free. I was given an A, not an A + so a bit of work to do yet!!
My next step from here will be to get started with some clinical Pilates (aiming for twice per week) and to book in for 1 or 2 more physiotherapy sessions to continue with hands on treatment to work through my post-natal niggles.