Tag Archives: Mommy Tummy

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.”

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.

Wanna’ Get That Pre-Baby Body Back? Here are 5 Tips:

Woman Lifting DumbbellThis is a summary of a good article that I helped write for Move Forward PT. (see link below)

“While moderate weight gain is a common concern for women during and after pregnancy, there are many other factors to consider in the 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth. You may want to get back into pre-pregnancy shape immediately, but it is important to make a slow return to full activity.”

Here are some “tips on what you can do in the first 6 weeks after delivery to begin getting your body back into pre-pregnancy shape.”

  1. Get help with tasks. During the first 6 post-partum weeks DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING HEAVIER THEN YOUR BABY.
  2. Breathe. Your diaphragm works as a breathing muscle and is a major core muscle. Breathing exercises will help you to restore stability in your trunk and to regain tone in your core muscles, so you can achieve that flat tummy look.
  3. Focus on your core. After birth woman’s abdominal muscles are stretched out and can sometimes develop a separation, called diastasis recti.  During the first 6 weeks you can do some gentle Kegel and breathing exercises to get a jump start on your recovery. Avoid activities that put pressure on your abdomen such as getting out of bed by doing a sit up. A physical therapist can prescribe exercises to help “close the gap” between muscles.
  4. Strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.  Women can do gentle Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises immediately after childbirth, whether the birth was vaginal or by caesarian section. Strengthening the pelvic floor also can improve sexual satisfaction and help prevent incontinence.
  5. Every minute counts. Try to incorporate fitness into your everyday routines—such as taking a family walk around the neighborhood or doing your kegel and breathing exercises while you are nursing or feeding your baby. New moms should sleep whenever they have the opportunity.

Click here for the full article


Moms: Jogging with a Stroller? Here is How to Prevent Aches and Pains?

jogger-stroller“It has happened to every postpartum woman. You finally feel like your body is ready to get back in shape… and you decide to go on your first jog with your new baby and that awesome new jogging stroller.”

I bet you didn’t know that there are ways to prevent injuries by adjusting the way you use your jogging stroller and to make sure it is the right fit for you.

Here are a few tips to prevent injuries while getting that post-baby body back in shape:
To read more click here: http://fit4mom.com/latest/blog/safe-strides-jogging-stroller-safety-tips

Five Ways to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy

By Mariannne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

“Whether having children is in your 10-year plan or you’ve decided now is the time to start trying, it’s never too early to begin preparing your body for pregnancy. Ensure your body is ready to carry a baby by addressing before pregnancy any pain or problems associated with posture or weakness. Unfortunately, these issues can worsen during pregnancy and cause pain and dysfunction.”

Here are 5 tips to prepare your body for pregnancy:

1. Strengthen your pelvic muscles.
2. Prepare for “baby belly” by focusing on your core.
3. Take a breath!
4. Begin a regular fitness routine.
5. Practice good posture.

For more information http://momitforward.com/five-ways-to-prepare-your-body-for-pregnancy

On The Radio…Women’s Health

Marianne Radio 1By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Earlier this week both Lila Abbate and I were guests on Karen Litzy’s weekly radio show “Healthy, Wealthy and Smart” on the Talking Alternatives network.

We spent about 1 hour discussing our “niche specializations” within Women’s Health Physical Therapy.

You can listen to the interview here 
I discussed physical therapy treatment for Prenatal / Postpartum issues and Lila told us how she uses physical therapy to treat GI / Bowel dysfunctions.

We both had a blast and enjoyed spreading the word on how physical therapists are the “go-to” medical professionals for musculoskeletal problems.
A recording of the show is also available on the Talking Alternatives website and is also available as a Podcast on iTunes.
Click here to listen to the broadcast. Or click here to get the iTunes Podcast


Older Mom’s Should be Induced Early. True or False?

Pregnant Woman Holding Stomach

Posted by: Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director of MRPT Physical Therapy

“Pregnant women aged over 40 should be given the option of being induced early to reduce the risks of stillbirths, says a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists paper.”

To read more click here.

Want a Flat Tummy? Don’t Do Sit-Ups or Crunches (Part 3)

shutterstock_55118254By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Is your New Year’s Resolution “I want a Flat Tummy?”
This is the final article of the 3 part series.

Many people have problems with pelvic stability and you must have a stable pelvis if you want that flat tummy look.

If you have ever had a baby, you are especially likely to have experienced this problem. During pregnancy, hormones are released that cause the ligaments around your pelvis to soften, getting your body ready to deliver your baby. In some women this can cause severe and frequent pain in the buttock area or at the front of the pelvis. Sometimes this pain and instability can continue for many years.

And yes, Men can develop unstable pelvises too! So guys pay attention, these exercises will help you flatten that gut.

We gave you 2 core activation exercises in part two of this series to get you on the road to that flat tummy look. Now you will learn 3 more advanced exercises to try after you have mastered the activation exercises. The 3 exercises below will help you develop pelvic stability.

(Note: Please read disclaimer prior to performing exercises)

For all these exercises, working on a firm surface is a must – a blanket/comforter on the floor or a yoga mat is perfect.

THE BRIDGEBlock Girl Pelvic Tilt

  • For this exercise, you need to be lying comfortably on your back. Your head and arms should be relaxed with your knees and hips bent. Put your weight on the heels of your feet.
  • Lift your bottom off the floor, aiming for a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold for a count of 3, if you can. Then slowly lower your body to the start position.
  • Work up to holding the bridge position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times.

THE BUTT LIFTBlog Girl Leg Raise

This is a great exercise for your buttock area, working the muscles that stabilize your pelvis.

  • Lie on your tummy, with a pillow supporting it on a firm, comfortable surface. Make sure your head is down and arms are relaxed. Use a towel roll to support your forehead.
  • Bend one knee to 90 degrees, with your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Lift your knee up off the floor. Keep your back muscle relaxed and feel for a strong contraction in your buttocks. Make sure you don’t rotate your hips or arch your back as you lift your leg.
  • Work up to holding this position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times

THE CLAMclam_edited

  • For this exercise, you need to lie on your side. Your knees and hips are bent comfortably, head relaxed, heels together.
  • Tie an exercise band around your thighs. Start with the lightest resistance and gradually work up to heavier resistance as you get stronger.
  • Keeping your heels together, gently lift your top knee away from your other knee. This should be a small movement, stop lifting once your knee is at the same level as your hip. Make sure to keep your 2 knees lined up.
  • You should feel your outer buttock area working strongly.
  • Work up to holding this position for 10 counts, then repeat 10 times,

It is important to remember that none of these exercises should give you any pain or discomfort – if they do, make sure to ask for advice from your physical therapist. If you do these exercises daily, you will be well on your way to a more stable pelvis, and a flat tummy.

If you missed previous posts of this series click here part one and part two.

Note: Physical Therapy exercise pictures copyright VHI