Published with permission from Kim Vopni

An email message I received from a fellow entrepreneur who wanted to book a session with me because she is unhappy with her tummy and she has back pain:

I’ve been wearing my wrap lately b/c my belly is out of control. Baby weight all gone – but serious issues with my belly – I feel like everything is just hanging out and putting a lot of stress on my back. Also, I still carry my daughter. No, I haven’t been exercising or doing anything that you told me to do 🙁

This morning, I woke up with shooting pains across my abdomen and up and down – put on my wrap and felt immediately better. I need to do something and would like to see you in a formal capacity – if you still offer such services. If not, no worries – I can book someone via the site – just thought I’d ask.

This wrap really holds it together for me (literally/figuratively).

My response:

The big question I ask though is what prevented you from doing the exercises? In a session I will do a full assessment and then give you more exercises…will you do them? 😉

You also need to see a pelvic floor physio…remember?? 😉

Her response – this is the best part…

Okay – got it.

Why I didn’t do the exercises:

  • I find it a challenge to make time for self care until it reaches the point of pain.
  • I didn’t think my diastasis was that bad (I know…I know…) until my son asked me why my stomach was still big.
  • My third was a big baby for my frame – and I’m only realizing now that the belly really WON’T bounce back.
  • I thought the band would be a quick fix (YAY) and that I could skip the exercises (which requires a time commitment) – the band is pretty darn awesome though.
  • I thought the OB may have fixed me (she said she tried to stitch it closed) during the C-section.
  • Yes, I will do the exercises (can I watch Netflix at the same time?)

Yes, I will go to physio.

What I hear all the time

  • Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? – good question…..I’m working on changing that as it is a HUGE disservice to women
  • I didn’t think the exercises were important – belly wrapping is a great recovery tool immediately postpartum but preventive and restorative exercise is the most important element and you MUST DO THEM
  • I didn’t think it would happen to me – research shows that pretty much 100% of women will have some degree of abdominal wall impairment. Research also shows that over 50% of women with diastasis recti also have some element of pelvic floor dysfunction. And this is REPORTED cases
  • I wish I had listened to you before – I wish you did too but you can still make change and heal your body
  • I wish I had known about this before – me too – I wish doctors and midwives and childbirth educators and doulas would all talk about this. The pelvic floor and abdomen undergo significant changes in pregnancy and birth, yet they do not get the attention they deserve so women are uninformed
  • I will come see you – I hope you do but I know you probably won’t. I know that most moms do not prioritize themselves. I really hope you are different. I would love to play a role in restoring your core confidence.
  • I will go see a pelvic floor physio – I hope you do but I know you probably won’t. I know that most moms do not prioritize themselves. I really hope you are different. I know pelvic floor physio seems a bit weird but it is the most amazing education in your body – it will change your life.

The moral of the story

Girlfriends, you NEED to take time for self care! No guilt, no excuses, no rescheduling – just do it! And do it BEFORE you have a problem if you can. It is amazing to me how pain is a motivator. Women will be more prone to fix a problem especially a painful one, then they are to prevent it from happening in the first place.

With the right information ahead of time (ie during or ideally before pregnancy) women can make choices that build their body for birth and set themselves up for an optimal recovery.

Fixing a problem 1.5 years after your third child is born is certainly possible but taking steps to prevent the ‘broken body’ (a term I hear ALL THE TIME) is easier and preferable.

Now with all do respect to my cousin’s amazing wife, I would put money on the fact that she has not yet made her pelvic floor physio appointment. This email thread was from the last week of May so we are now a full month later. She is busy running a company and a household with 3 young children – I get it but….you gotta make time for you. Following up on that now….

I URGE you – if you are pregnant, see a pelvic floor physio and read my book Prepare To Push™. If you are a new or even seasoned mom, see a pelvic floor physio and do the Core Confidence program to retrain your core. If you have a vagina, even if you have never had kids, even if you never will have kids, even if you have no symptoms, just see a pelvic floor physiotherapist!

Just do it!

Reprinted with permission from Pelvienne Wellness