Monthly Archives: July 2013

Kate’s Post #Baby-Bod Tummy is NORMAL!

Royal BabyBy Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

This article quotes several parts of an article by Ceridwen Morris and posted on Yahoo.com

What a picture of a fairytale story come true! We all rejoiced in the birth of the first prince of this century with pictures of “a beautiful, healthy baby, a doting, proud father, and a glowing, serene mother. But wait! Look closely. When Kate passes the swaddled heir to her charming William, she reveals a real-life new mom belly. Round as a six month pregnancy. Clear as day.”

What’s up with that?

“Can anyone tell me why Kate’s stomach still looks pregnant after the baby isn’t inside her anymore? I had no idea that happened … Is it fluid or something?”

“Women are often surprised to learn that looking very pregnant is not only normal for the first few hours or days after giving birth but for weeks or more. Women have 40-50% more blood volume during pregnancy; all that excess fluid doesn’t go down overnight.  Also, the uterus must shrink back down to a fraction of the size it was during pregnancy. But it can take about a month or so.”

shutterstock_55118254
What can Kate do to help her belly heal and flatten faster?

Studies have shown that compression helps to heal wounds faster, even post baby-bod bellies, but it has to be the correct amount of compression. To facilitate healing there should be enough elastic in the garment to compress the belly without pressing so hard that the garment takes over the work of the abdominal muscles.

Many of you may have seen articles written about celebrities who claim wearing very tight abdominal binders for a few months helped them to develop a flat tummy after childbirth. Nothing could be further from the truth!

As a physical therapist who specializes in treating postpartum women, I would like to give a warning that tight abdominal binders will not help to flatten your tummy; and using an abdominal binder actually weakens stomach muscles. Another problem with abdominal binders is that they create compressive downward forces which push internal organs down towards the worn out muscles at the bottom of the pelvis (pelvic floor muscles). This can lead to problems such as chronic urinary leakage and pelvic organ prolapse.

The answer to how to help heal and flatten your post baby-bod tummy is to wear a compressive garment that will help to encourage your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to contract and to hold your organs “up and in”. So, you need to wear a garment that will offer compressive support at the bottom of your pelvis and your tummy. As I mentioned before, you need to use just the right amount of compression. “Shape wear” under garments, the ones we see advertised all over the internet, are too tight and can weaken the abdominal muscles. To date, I am not aware of a garment available on the market that I can recommend. So, for now, try using a sports top, like a yoga top, and underpants with enough elastic to give your pelvic floor support.

Should you have a baby over 40? Essentially Fit Radio Show

Essentially Fit RadioMarianne was recently interviewed by Wess Murray for his Essentially Fit radio show on the subject of “Should you have a baby over 40?”

During the 50 minute show they discussed a number of issues including:

 

  • Why you must take care of your joints during pregnancy.
  • Having a 2nd child later in life: what steps should you take?
  • Exercise after childbirth The pros and cons of having a baby after 40
  • How modern technology has made it possible to have children
  • How to have realistic expectations when losing weight after a baby

Click here to listen to the show

You can also download the show here from I Tunes

Prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) with Better Birthing Techniques.

Pelvic_floor_side_view_larger_fontBy Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

A very common side effect of childbirth is Pelvic Organ Prolapse, POP, some studies show up to 25% of women will develop it at sometime in their life.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

POP occurs when organs such as the uterus or bowels slip down from their normal positions inside of the pelvis.

There are different degrees of how much the organs slip, in severe instances organs can protrude outside of the vagina, especially when performing activities that require abdominal bracing such as heavy lifting, sit-up exercises and even passing a bowel movement.
POP can lead to several complications such as incontinence, pelvic and back pain and sexual dysfunctions.

Prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse With Better Birthing Techniques:

Did you know that certain childbirth techniques could reduce the risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse (POP)?
The more strain placed on the pelvic floor during childbirth, the more a woman is at risk of developing POP. Choosing better positions, breathing techniques, and timing can benefit both mom and baby.

To read more about this in an article I wrote for the Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, “Reduce the Risk of Developing Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Birth Techniques For Less Strain on Pelvic Floor Muscles”, click here.

Did You Know Physical Therapy Treatment Can Reverse or Reduce the Severity of POP?

In an earlier post I discussed a study that shows that  1/3 of the surgeries performed to reverse Pelvic Organ Prolapse fails within 7 years. That is a really bad statistic! click here
What most people do not realize is that physical therapy treatment has been proven to reverse or lower the severity of the amount of slippage, and therefore may be used in the treatment of incontinence, pelvic and back pain and sexual dysfunctions.