The Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal check, to help optimise recovery in the postnatal period. It is recommended to have a postnatal check approximately 6-8 weeks after the birth of your baby, whether a vaginal or C-section delivery. But, it’s never too late! The Mummy MOT can still be hugely beneficial years later.
Why all mums need a Mummy MOT
After having a baby, half of all women have ongoing weakness and dysfunction in their tummy or pelvic floor muscles. This can result in incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction and pain, even years later. A Mummy MOT helps women avoid these distressing symptoms, to create a recovery programme to fit around lifestyles and fitness goals. Here at BWT Nicky is able to incorporate a diagnostic ultrasound scan of your tummy muscles to give you a ‘picture’ of how well they are working and visual biofeedback when you can activate them as often we don’t know if we are contracting then correctly.
What happens during a Mummy MOT?
The session can last up to an hour. A specialist Physiotherapist will assess your posture, lower back and pelvis. They will look at your tummy muscles, to assess the “gap” and use real time ultrasound to see the muscles in action. An internal pelvic floor examination may also be included, and this will be discussed with all patients prior to the appointment and with full consent. Your individual concerns and goals will be addressed within the session, with a bespoke postnatal programme for optimal recovery.
Sleepy, tired, loud and crying babies all welcome to attend!
“Mind the Gap” – all about Diastasis Recti
All pregnant women will develop a degree of abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) during their third trimester of pregnancy. It is a normal change that happens to the tummy wall, to allow extra space for the growth of the baby.
In pregnancy, the rectus abdominus muscle (commonly known as the ‘6-pack’ muscle) will stretch and move towards either side of the abdominal wall. The linea alba, which runs down the centre of the abdominal wall, will also stretch and widen. This is referred to as ‘the gap’. For many women, this natural separation will close during the first 6-8 weeks postpartum. For others, the separation will remain causing a range of symptoms including lower back pain and pelvic floor muscle problems.
FOCUS ON TENSION NOT WIDTH
Many women focus on the ‘width of their gap’, but it is more important to consider what it feels like between it.
Is it firm or squishy? Do you notice a dip around your tummy button? Does your tummy button stick out when you get out of bed or exercise? All of these could be signs of a persistent tummy gap which can cause both short and long-term problems if not addressed.
We all need strong abdominals in order to move and exercise well. However not all exercises are equal. Many women will overwork their tummy muscles in an effort to ‘close the gap’ which can make symptoms worse.
Diastasis Recti Recovery
It is important to discuss your symptoms with a specialist postnatal physiotherapist. We can help assess your condition and plan your safe return to exercise, to fit around your lifestyle
Top tips for diastasis recti rehab:
Don’t focus on the ‘width of the gap’. DO FOCUS ON FUNCTION.
Get yourself moving in the right way and build your strength from the inside out.
Don’t hold your breath or suck your stomach in. DO FOCUS ON BREATHING.
Don’t forget about your pelvic floor muscles.
Don’t ignore your symptoms.
Book in for your Mummy MOT today and seek the specialist advice you need to get back on track.