It’s been a minute since we did some myth busting, and I’m excited to be tackling this question! (Nerd alert 🚨🤓)We treat a lot of postpartum women (reminder: once postpartum always postpartum). And, the new moms especially always want to know: “what exercises should I NOT do?”Oof. There’s never an easy answer to this question because noBODY is the same. Certain exercises get a bad wrap for women if they end up with a musculoskeletal diagnosis after delivery. You may have heard:🙅🏿‍♀️Diastasis recti (DR)? No more crunches or planks! 🚫🙅🏽‍♀️Urinary leakage? No running or jumping jacks! 🛑🙅🏻‍♀️Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)? Forget heavy lifting! ❌In many cases, if we build a strong foundation, we can get back to the exercises we love in time. Next week, we will post some modifications for building back to a plank even if you have a DR. Look for more ideas in the weeks to come for lifting/running/jumping! What exercise myths did you hear postpartum?? Let us know! ... See MoreSee Less
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Taking care of your c-section scar is probably the last thing on your mind when you first get home from the hospital with your babe. But, women with elective c-sections are more likely to have low back pain and pain with sex postpartum than women with vaginal deliveries down the road (more on this in the link below).In my clinical experience I find tissue restrictions around the scar often contribute to these issues. You may not have gotten a whole lot of specifics from your doctor on scar care, so where should you start?? Around 3 weeks postpartum, gently massage the surrounding tissues above, below and to the sides of the incision.After 6-8 weeks, massage gently over the scar itself. Bear in mind the scar tissue may still only be about 80% as strong as the surrounding areas 3 months later. So, don’t start with more aggressive massage until further down the road. These tips are based on typical tissue healing timelines, but every body is different and will heal differently. If you’re not sure if your scar is ready, make an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area for guidance.Bonus tip: Speed healing time early on by getting plenty of protein, zinc and vitamin C! 📚 www.researchgate.net/publication/346882124_Comparison_of_pelvic_floor_dysfunction_6_years_after_u... ... See MoreSee Less
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I once heard it said that the vagina is a self-cleaning oven. Confession: I giggled. So what does that even mean?? Just like a self-cleaning oven, we don’t need to use any products to clean our vagina. You read that correctly. No douching. No fancy cleansers.No normal cleansers.Just plain, boring water. Why? The vagina has a very delicate balance of bacteria and hormones that help regulate the pH - in other words how acidic the vagina is. The optimal acidity keeps infections at bay, prevents odors and may even reduce your risk of an STI called trichomoniasis. Washing with cleansers and douching at best is unnecessary and at worst can disrupt your pH. Even excessively cleansing with water can dry out your tissues leading to discomfort. Quickly give your vulva a rinse in the shower, pat dry and let the vagina do its thing. If you’re concerned about odors, discharge or anything else that a light rinse doesn’t take care of, it’s time to see your doctor to rule out infection or hormone imbalances. ... See MoreSee Less
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🍅Let’s talk ketchup. Well, ketchup bottles. 🍅You know - the plastic ketchup bottles with the rubber seal at the bottom. You flip the bottle upside down but nothing happens until you squeeze the bottle, until you generate enough pressure to overcome the strength of the seal. Now imagine the bottle represents your diaphragm, abs and small segmental back muscles and the seal represents your pelvic floor. Just like the ketchup bottle you can overcome the strength of your pelvic floor with excessive pressure in your core. Over time you will see the signs of this as pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, pain and any other number of issues. 🤯Some of the most common ways I see my patients creating excessive pressure are:💨Breath holding🚶🏻‍♀️Poor posture😖Ab grippingNext time you’re doing that *one* activity that makes you pee a little, check your breath. Were you holding your breath?? Try exhaling as you exert yourself instead. 😤If that doesn’t do the trick, go see your friendly neighborhood PFPT (catch the Spider-Man 🕷reference?). He or she may not technically be a super hero, but you’ll still think they’re pretty amazing when you no longer have to wear pads just to do a simple exercise. ... See MoreSee Less
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Hemorrhoids are veins in the anus and rectum that become swollen and irritated. They may bleed and cause pain with bowel movements and sitting. And, can also create itching and irritation. In other words, they’re a real pain in the butt. They aren’t always avoidable. (Yet another perk of pregnancy.) But, there are things you can do to set yourself up for success:💩 Don’t let yourself get constipated😖 Avoid straining with bowel movements🏃Exercise regularly🧍🏻Don’t sit for long periods 😮‍💨 Exhale when you liftIf you struggle with constipation, pelvic floor physical therapy can help! We can help get you going by addressing the muscles, teaching you toileting habits to eliminate more effectively (e.g. without straining or holding your breath) and rule out other factors like rectal prolapse that might be leading to your constipation and hemorrhoids. Give your local pelvic floor PT a call and stop worrying about your next trip to the restroom. If you happen to be near East Cobb or Alpharetta, check out the awesome PTs at Provenance Rehab. ... See MoreSee Less
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