Becoming a new mom or birth parent is a joyous yet challenging occasion. One challenge that many face during pregnancy and after giving birth is diastasis recti. It is a common condition that occurs when the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle (the six-pack muscle) separate during pregnancy. This separation can cause a bulge in the abdomen or other symptoms like low back pain, making it difficult to exercise or return to your pre-pregnancy function. Luckily, this condition can be treated successfully with physical therapy.
Exercise is known to have many physical benefits, including improved quality of life and reduced risk of chronic disease. As most individuals know, exercise helps improve physical health and has mental health benefits. Exercise can help by improving self-esteem and cognitive function, as well as reducing mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, and negative mood. Exercise plays a role in mental health care by increasing blood circulation to the brain leading to a reduced reactive response to stressors. Despite the most recent research, exercise is often underutilized as an intervention regarding mental health, specifically in the postpartum population.
Being well-rested and getting enough sleep are vital in a healthy pregnancy. Your body is building a baby, which takes a lot of energy! Although sleeping is important during this time, there are many obstacles to getting good sleep when pregnant. With pregnancy comes body aches and pains, leg cramps, the extra weight that can lead to shortness of breath, and insomnia due to changing hormones. Here are 5 tips for prioritizing sleep, despite these hurdles.
Congratulations, you’ve just had a baby! Whether this is your first child, or you’ve had many before, taking care of yourself postpartum is just as important as taking care of your baby. Many new moms attend their six-week postpartum checkup and are cleared to do whatever they want but don’t feel ready or don’t know how to begin exercising safely again. Not to mention, new moms may be experiencing other symptoms like urinary leakage, pelvic pain, or low back pain. These symptoms are often assumed to be normal, but they can be helped with the assistance of a physical therapist.
The simple answer is “yes.” Babies can go to physical therapy. Babies of all ages can benefit from skilled physical therapy for various reasons. To break it down, we’ll look at the who, what, where, and why our little ones can share the gym with the average population!
Whenever there is a large expansion experienced throughout your trunk, all of the abdominal muscles will be affected. Normal weight gain during pregnancy, abdominal weight gain in the absence of pregnancy, and having an abdominal surgery are all reasons someone may be diagnosed with Diastasis Recti (DRA). A Diastasis Recti means a separation of the abdominal muscles and their associated fascia that holds them together at the midline of the trunk. An abdominal separation greater than .9 to 2.7cm along the midline of the abdomen from the sternum (breastbone) to the pubic symphysis (joint between your left and right pelvic bone), is considered DRA. DRA by itself is not the main issue; the symptoms that may arise are more prevalent in determining the relevance of having a DRA. Some individuals are asymptomatic and may not seek physical therapy care to address it.
Your beautiful bundle of joy has made their debut, and all you want to do is snuggle your precious little one, or your little seems always to want to be close to you. If this sounds like your situation, I can 100% relate because I have a five-month-old and a 2.5-year-old. I treat upper extremity injuries, and I never considered the importance of body mechanics when lifting and carrying my little ones until I started to experience the aches and pains of loving on my precious little ones at all hours of the day and night. Our little ones love us no matter the learning curve parenthood requires, and they need us at our healthiest. Let me share some tips I have learned.
Today is the day you find out you are pregnant. What does this mean for you, your partner, your life, and your body? The physiological changes that may arise are complex and depend on many factors.
Multiple scholarly journals estimate that 50% of women will experience low back pain during pregnancy. Do you have a history of low back pain? Did you sustain an injury to your sacroiliac (SI) joint due to a fall or trauma in the past? Have you ever experienced sciatica before? Even if you have never had an injury before, you can still develop pain during pregnancy.