Tag Archives: Flat Belly

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.”

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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

Free Classes – Flatten Your “Post-Baby Tummy”

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS,
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy.

good mommy tummyWe are offering free classes to showcase our new post-baby exercise program for new moms.
The class will be taught 1 time per week for 8 weeks in our Physical Therapy Practice, we are conveniently located 1 block from Grand Central.

Participants must be willing to commit to attending all 8 classes and should be a few years Postpartum or less.

Our new series of classes start on Tuesday June 4 at 11am.

Please email at mrptny@aol.com or call us at 212-661-2933 if you are interested.
Our website address is www.mrptny.com

Want a Flat Tummy? Don’t Do Sit-Ups or Crunches (Part 1)

Sit Up

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Is it your New Year’s resolution to have a nice flat tummy?

Think twice before you crunch!

I bet you didn’t know that sit ups and crunches can damage your pelvic floor muscles which prevents you from getting that flat tummy look.

This blog is part of a 3 part series on how to develop a flat tummy without doing abdominals crunches. We will teach you some safe exercises which will help you get that desired result.

For most of us, abdominal crunches are on life’s list of things we know we really should do, but are not really that much fun – like flossing our teeth or sprinkling flax seeds on everything we eat.  Well, maybe what I am going to tell you will be good news – ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES CAN BE BAD FOR YOU!

The problem is not so much what these types of exercises are doing to your six-pack abdominal muscles, but the effect they are having on your pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles. These two muscle groups work together to help keep the lower part of your body stable so you can move more efficiently.

Your pelvic floor is shaped like a little hammock connecting the back and front of the pelvis; and it is meant to act like a trampoline. It is composed of a group of muscles whose job it is to support our abdominal contents, maintain bladder and bowel control and support healthy sexual function. When the pelvic floor muscles contract your deep or lower abdominals should contract at the same time, forming the base and front part of your core muscles. 

When you do a sit up or, an abdominal crunch,  the pressure in your abdomen rises. Your pelvic floor should contract strongly and automatically, like a trampoline, to match the increasing pressure.  If you have weakness in your pelvic floor, the increased pressure will hone in on that area, and can worsen the weakness and cause serious problems, including problems with bladder and bowel control, organ prolapse and pain in the pelvis and lower back.

Also, performing sit ups or crunches can cause your upper abdominals to become over trained and much stronger than your lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles; resulting in muscle imbalances. If this happens, each time you perform a sit up, the upper abdominal wall tightens and causes funnel pressure which presses down on the lower tummy and pelvic floor muscles. So, you run the risk of developing a little pot belly and a droopy pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor and your deep abdominal muscles are not normally trained to withstand the prolonged pressure created by repetitive crunches. It’s an endurance problem. Pelvic floor muscles can fatigue easily and lose its “trampoline like” effect of matching the downward pressure placed on it by the internal organs.tooth_paste

Take a toothpaste tube; make sure it’s fairly full. Now make it do a crunch – go right ahead and bend it in half! The lid represents a strong pelvic floor. Okay, now do it again with the lid off. Get the picture?

This doesn’t mean you get out of exercising your abdominal muscles altogether!

In the next 2 posts you will learn a great way of working out your abdominal muscles while keeping your pelvic floor safe.

Ref: http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au

Disclamer

Sit Ups are Dangerous? Pilates “Hundreds” Exercises Can Damage Your Pelvic Floor Muscles?

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Think twice before you crunch!

For most of us, abdominal crunches are on life’s list of things we know we really should do, but are not really that much fun – like flossing our teeth or eating psyllium husks.  Well, maybe what I am going to tell you will be good news – ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES CAN BE BAD FOR YOU!

The problem is not so much what these types of exercises are doing to your six-pack abdominal muscles, but the effect they are having on your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is shaped a little like a hammock. It is composed of a group of muscles whose job it is to support our abdominal contents, maintain bladder and bowel control and support healthy sexual function.

When you do a sit up, an abdominal crunch, or even a Pilates “hundreds” exercise,  the pressure in your abdomen rises. Your pelvic floor should contract strongly and automatically to match the increasing pressure.  If you have weakness in your pelvic floor, the increased pressure will hone in on that area, and can worsen the weakness and cause serious problems, including problems with bladder and bowel control, organ prolapse and pain in the pelvis and lower back.

Also, performing sit ups or the Pilates “hundreds” can cause your upper abdominals to become over trained and much stronger than your pelvic floor muscles; resulting in muscle imbalances. If this happens, each time you perform a sit up, the upper abdominal wall tightens and causes funnel pressure which presses down on the pelvic floor muscles.

Take a toothpaste tube; make sure it’s fairly full. Now make it do a crunch – go right ahead and bend it in half! Okay, now do it again with the lid off. Get the picture?

Now, some of us are more at risk of pelvic floor weakness than others. Some high risk groups include:

  • Women who are pregnant or have ever had a baby
  • Women who have had gynecological surgery, especially hysterectomy
  • Women who are post-menopause, or going through menopause
  • Men who have had prostate surgery
  • Elite athletes (eg. marathon runners, gymnasts, dancers, athletes of high impact sports )

There are other risk factors causing pelvic floor weakness as well; (like chronic cough, being overweight, chronic back pain), which mean that abdominal crunches should really be off the exercise list for most of us. This doesn’t mean you get out of exercising your abdominal muscles altogether!  In the next post you will learn a great way of working out your abdominal muscles while keeping your pelvic floor safe.

Ref: http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/