But What If It Isn’t Normal?: The Case for Abdominal and Pelvic Floor Rehab

testimonials_kelly

photos courtesy of The Tummy Team

 

My social media feed is full of it. Moms lamenting peeing their pants and the belly that just hangs and won’t budge no matter how many crunches they do or how long they diet. With Mother’s Day coming up there are even cute little memes about “Call your mom, she wets herself because of you.”

Except a part of me doesn’t find it cute. I’m glad for awareness and openness for discussing this important aspect of women’s health. But I just can’t get behind making a serious medical issue into the punchline of a joke. Pelvic floor and core weakness are certainly common side affects for women who have been pregnant and/or given birth. But I would hesitate to call them normal and they certainly aren’t healthy.

 

When I got to hear Beth Learn from Fit2B Studio speak in person last year, she talked about how our bodies were made to birth babies, and also made to heal. But our lifestyles have changed, and most of our lives no longer contain the kinds of healthy movement to used to help women recover from pregnancy and child birth. While modern medicine has brought us many wonderful things in the area of OBGYN care, this has not been one of them. Talking about the ability to heal has nothing to do with shame at the symptoms, but rather to produce empowerment at the possibility for recovery.

 

Online_Header-1 (1)

 
This is why I love The Tummy Team. Kelly Dean’s own story provides inspiration. She talks about how her training as a physical therapist didn’t prepare her for the side effects of multiple pregnancies and deliveries. Her broken body left her feeling discouraged. Other than surgery she could find any practical solutions. But she searched until she found someone who offered real hope.

 

While Kelly agrees that hands on help is best, there are a limited number of trained core and pelvic rehabilitation specialists in the United States, and indeed the world. To that end she created online rehab programs through her office, The Tummy Team.

 

I completed the Core Foundations with The Tummy Team three years ago, and then the Prenatal program two years ago when I was pregnant with my third child. I found both programs to be educational, and encouraging as I went through my healing process. I’ve also done a Skype session with Kelly and found it hugely helpful in making sure I was learning proper alignment and a chance to ask any questions. While today I wouldn’t call my core entirely healed (the result of a difficult third pregnancy and delivery), I gained so many important tools through the course that I find myself returning to when my abs need a little bit of extra attention and support.

 

In honor of Mother’s Day, the Tummy Team is offering 25% off all of their programs and services, May 8-22. (If you don’t want to start now, you can purchase a gift certificate at sale price, and start your rehab later).

 

This Mother’s Day, consider investing in yourself (or your mom) and consider healing through the wonderful ladies at The Tummy Team.

 

3c5e0a16-f281-4f2b-b1c8-c2a7a40a7650

 

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Tummy Team Week 4: Pelvic Floor

5455165756_bb45ab4dd1_o

Photo Credit: Miles Cave via Compfight cc

I love this image because it makes me think of the Foundational Five program on Fit2B Studio, Mula Bandha.  Which Bethany Learn says means root lock. The idea of your pelvic floor and core being the root and the center of your body.

The Focus of Week 4 is….Pelvis-the Floor of Your Core.

I never thought that I suffered from many pelvic floor issues. Yes, I’ve had two vaginal births but I did about a million Kegels before and after, and while I know those are kind of controversial at the moment, they did help me somewhat. Then when I discovered Fit2B I did the Mula Bandha workout, which helped me connect even further to my pelvic floor. I don’t doubt that I probably still have some pelvic floor weakness, I can’t do the exercises for as long as recommended. But I’m fortunate not to have any side affects, during or after my pregnancy.

During the earlier weeks of rehab in discussion on the private forum I mentioned that I have trouble doing the ab exercises without my pelvic floor joining in. Turns out this isn’t entirely a bad thing, as the two are connected.

I read over the what to expect for Week 4 and so much of it felt true this week. Especially the part about feeling overwhelmed. There are so many exercises to remember to do each day. I know I’m probably not doing them as often or consistently as I should, which is frustrating because I really want to get as much as I can out of this workout. I am finding that I’m more aware of my posture, though sometimes when I’m tired or stressed (which is often lately) I know that I’m probably not thinking about it as much as I should. I do still have some upper back, shoulder blade pain, especially on the right side, especially when trying to do hand activities like knitting. Definitely feeling unsure about which exercise to do. I figure if I do simple cardio (like walks and riding the stationary bike) with good alignment plus anything on Fit2B I should be pretty safe.

I’m officially half way through the program. I’m honesty not sure what I think. My core probably feels a little stronger, I find some of the exercises a bit easier. I haven’t taken my waist measurement so I don’t know if I’m lost inches. I did, however, decide to check my diastasis. I wish I hadn’t. As far as I can tell it hasn’t changed at all. However, I have to believe that there is important work going on, even if I’m not seeing the outer effects yet. So four more weeks to go, hopefully I’ll see the results I’m looking for by the end.

Tummy Team Week 5: Neutral Rib Alignment and Core Endurance

 

The Tummy Team Core Foundations Online Program

I have been provided with complimentary access to this training program in order to review it. All opinions expressed are my own and I am not compensated for my reviews. However, all posts may contain affiliate links.

Repairing My Core: Reviewing the Core Foundations 8-week Online Training Program with the Tummy Team 

Tummy Team Week 1: Awareness

Tummy Team Week 2: Connection

Tummy Team Week 3: Neutral Pelvis and Core Strength

My Skype Session with Kelly Dean