Postpartum...how to lose the jelly belly
Janine Laughlin September 2013
Having a baby can be one of the most joyful events in a woman's life. Pregnancy and childbirth can also lead to permanent souvenirs that a woman didn't expect. How often are women told that some of these post-pregnancy changes are"normal" and that they just have to "live with it?" Specialized physical therapy can help women not only regain their pre-pregnancy figure, but more importantly lead to improved function and prevention of future problems. Common problems include back pain, pelvic pain, midline split of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), pelvic organ prolapse, urinary frequency or incontinence, pain with penetration or persistent weakness. Having a C-section can actually increase the risk of these problems and often these issues continue throughout a woman's life into menopause.
With proper exercise and hands-on manual therapy, the muscles can be retrained to function properly, even after many years of dysfunction. The deep core muscles are addressed specifically in rehab. Abdominal exercises should be aimed at retraining the tranversus abdominus, or deepest abdominal muscle. The function of this muscle is so vital to core health and is what helps to form the waistline. This muscle was stretched out during pregnancy and additionally cut if a C-section was performed. Doing sit-ups or crunches can actually worsen the condition and can increase back and neck pain, not to mention push the pelvic organs down and out of the body, leading to organ prolapse, worsening diastasis recti or urinary leaking.
To lose the jelly belly, sit with good back support and place the hands on the lower abdomen. Exhale through the mouth for up to 5 seconds while making a noise such as "sh" or "ss" and drawing in the lower abdomen as if the belly button was moving towards the spine. A pant size can be lost in just one month if this exercise is repeated 10 times during 5 feedings a day. This is the foundation for all core exercises and must be mastered before starting a Pilates program or exercise progression.
Healthy Core therapists can help mobilize or free up whatever structure is restricting normal muscle function. Why wait any longer?
Ladies...it's time to take care of YOU!
Janine Laughlin September 2013
At Healthy Core Wellness and Rehab, Ltd., we believe that every woman is the “core” of the family.
Women are caretakers for everyone else and often don't find the time to take care of themselves. When a woman is unhealthy or unhappy, it affects the entire family, like a ripple in a pond or a domino effect. When a woman experiences pain during or after exercise, or doesn't see results, she become unmotivated. However, when a woman is healthy, she is able to pour energy into other things like family, friends, hobbies and exercise.
So many conditions might actually be prevented if the proper treatment is provided at the most crucial time: right after birth or abdominal surgery. Healthy Core therapists recommend waiting six weeks after birth or surgery, unless you are unable to function or walk, or your pain is severe. You already have weakness or dysfunction if you have been pregnant or have had surgery or trauma. As your body adapts to the new changes, it often accepts your condition as "normal." In other words, you do not need to wait for a health care provider to refer you to therapy.
We often hear that women did not know treatment or help was available. Now, that is about to change … through education and hands-on treatment, Healthy Core therapists hope to help each woman achieve optimum wellness so you can better serve your family and community. We want to help you heal and be empowered in your own health.
We would like you to feel confident in choosing Healthy Core for your musculoskeletal needs throughout your lifetime. You will have access to your therapist for whatever ailment comes up. And if we don't know what to do for you, we will direct you to the most appropriate source to save you time and money.
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