You know the saying when someone has worked really hard at something and you say, ‘She really worked her butt off!’ I joked about that after I had my first child as I remarked at my really flat butt! ‘I birthed my butt off!’ I would say…
That was before I knew about why my butt ‘fell off’. In fact what had happened was my alignment had changed so much in my pregnancy that I became a tailbone tucker, and pelvis thruster and a chest gripper.
Actually, I am pretty sure I went into my pregnancy not well aligned with already weak glutes and then when I added pregnancy into the ‘messed up core’ mix I became even more un-aligned (not sure if that's a word but it is now!).
That was 14 years ago… I went on to have a second babe in 2007 and it was after he was born that I found out about diastasis recti. I was already immersed in the pelvic floor world...
The possibility of a perineal tear is probably the number one fear of pregnant women – how the heck am I going to push a baby out of my vagina and stay in one piece!?!
Episiotomy used to be a routine procedure that was once thought to help increase the space for the baby to emerge and protect women from dysfunction created by tearing. It turns out the procedure designed to protect actually created more dysfunction and perineal trauma. Thankfully, the procedure is rarely performed these days.
Tearing, while not ideal, is better than an episiotomy. Tears are classified in four degrees of severity, with fourth degree being the worst.
The female body is designed to give birth – the shape of our pelvis, we have a uterus, the hormones – but this natural phenomenon is becoming increasingly un-natural with medical interventions, a technology-driven society and the rise in high-intensity exercise.
Together these influences are wreaking havoc on the female body and interfering with what should be a normal physiologic process.
Before we get to birth, let’s look at the body itself and how we use technology on a daily basis.
Computers and cell phones are the technology I am referring to and the fact that we sit the majority of the time that we use these pieces of technology. This affects our posture and overall body alignment, which in turn affects our pelvic floor and abdomen – two parts of the body that are heavily involved in pregnancy and birth.
A body that sits the majority of the day is more...
This is not a blog about the fear of pooping during birth, but rather a few points designed to make you think and possibly question the way most women give birth.
Think about these following points for a moment:
When you need to have a bowel movement, do you go and lie down on your back with your knees at your ears? No, because that would be crazy! You sit upright on a toilet (ideally with your feet elevated on a squatty potty) and utilize gravity to assist in the elimination process.
Why then do doctors have women lie down on their backs when it comes time to push their baby out?
When you need to have a bowel movement, do you find a brightly lit area with a lot of people around? No, because that would be crazy! You find a bathroom and you close and lock the door so you will not be interrupted.
Why then are there so many people coming and going when a woman is trying to birth her baby, with all the lights...
Fitness in pregnancy is key but there is something you absolutely need to keep in mind - be specific. There is a principle in fitness called the Principle of Specificity. It states that the best way to develop physical fitness for your event or activity is to train the body as closely as possible to the way it will be used in the event or activity. Thus, the best way to train for running is to run, for swimming is to swim, and for weightlifting, lift weights. So, what about birth?
Birth is a very physical event – like a marathon, many say - and it is an event that you should prepare for. But you can’t practice giving birth, so what’s a pregnant woman to do?
You can prepare your body for birth using exercise that mimics labour and birth positions. During pregnancy, if you incorporate labour and birth-specific movements into your workouts, you will prepare your body for when you are actually in labour and be better...
We've all heard the saying that giving birth is like running a marathon. Really it is like running 4-6 marathons and unfortunately birth is not looked at like an event that needs to be trained for. Mind and body need to be prepared for the big day and also for the recovery.
Researchers from the Institute of Psychology at Jagiellonian University studied how marathon runners felt after they crossed the finish line and found striking similarities to childbirth. Is this interesting. Runners train for months, if not years, to prepare for the big race and to cross the finish line no matter what. Well, training your body to go through the birthing process should be considered in the way, but we – as women- often think of birth as a natural process that simply happens on its own.
True, birth happens on its own but how we prepare for it makes all the difference. Someone who hasn’t trained well wouldn’t do well in a marathon. Her body wouldn’t be able to...
A decreased libido in women can be a result of various things, and it’s not uncommon for a woman to experience low libido at some point in her life. A low sex drive can be caused by changes in hormones, stress, psychological attributes, relationship issues, and more. However, if you are experiencing a low desire for sex, you aren’t alone and there are a number of solutions that may be able to help!
Talk To Your Partner
If you’re currently dating someone or married, it’s a good idea to start by having an open discussion about your low libido with them. One of the strongest factors that affect a woman’s sex drive is the healthiness and stability of her relationship. If there are unresolved issues with your partner, power imbalances, and/or infidelity, it can make you resent them, and can, therefore, attribute to your low desire for sex with them.
If none of these factors are the case in your relationship, it’s still important to talk with your...
50 Shades of Grey certainly contributed to a rise in interest in LELO Luna Beads – a version of a pelvic floor exercise device made popular by the racy read.
I am often asked by clients and friends what my thoughts are on vagina weights or kegel balls. Here is what I have to say…
Before you invest in any pelvic floor training device, see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to determine if the gadget will help or hinder. While the world has gone kegel crazy, a kegel weight or other device is not always the right solution for women hoping to improve their pelvic floor function, and in some cases it may actually make things worse.
Pelvic floor physiotherapists have specialized training in the pelvic floor. They assess a part of our body we can’t see to determine the function of the muscles, work through any scar tissue that may be inhibiting ideal function and they help us learn how to properly contract and...
A common complaint from my clients - especially those who have had children and who sit all day, is what can I do to relieve my tailbone pain?
Tailbone pain can occur for many reasons. It is often closely tied to tension in the back part of the pelvic floor muscles. Tension can develop from sitting with a tucked pelvis, standing with a tucked pelvis, lack of core strength, injuries and more.
Often by releasing the tight, stuck muscles it can relieve the tailbone pain (and improve core strength too!)
Women who are dealing with tailbone pain may often find that their pelvic floor and core are weak and they may feel the need to do kegels. I am a firm believer in kegels however they need to be done correctly and consistently and sometimes it is better to focus on the release part of a kegel than on the contract/lift part of a kegel. This is especially true for people with tailbone pain.
When women do kegels, it is common for them to tighten their glutes...
The best core exercise you’ve never heard of is The Core Breath. The inner core, what I like to call The Core 4, is made up of the pelvic floor, the breathing diaphragm, the transversus abdominis, as well the little muscles along our spine called the multifidus. These 4 partners work in synergy all day long and play a role in a lot of functions we take for granted. Things like our continence, our pelvic and spinal stability, our organ support and even our sexual response.
When people think of core training they often think of planks, crunches, leg raises and maybe bird dogs… and its true…much of your core is involved in these activities. What is often overlooked or not considered is the role of the pelvic floor in core training and how crucial it is to our long-term core function.
The pelvic floor is the base or foundation of the core and when functioning optimally, it is involved in a constant dance with the diaphragm with each breath. ...