Pregnancy & Postpartum
What I offer and how I support you
Individual training sessions with guidance in how to properly exercise and stay healthy throughout each trimester of pregnancy while preparing for childbirth.
After giving birth
Now we focus on systematically and safely getting you back to exercising postpartum, starting from where you are.
Helping to rehabilitate conditions like diastasis recti, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic girdle pain (see below) and from there building up the necessary strength to handle everyday life and finding back into all the exercises and activities you want to do.
The truth is that there isn't anything like a general list of safe vs unsafe movements and exercises - it's all about how you do them and if you are strong enough to do them properly. I will look at each woman individually and give unique assessments for each person. Two people with similar problems might need almost opposite approaches and have very different paths towards healing. We have to take the whole body into consideration and see what YOU need. Mama, let's get you strong enough to enjoy life to the fullest!
Individual sessions are currently available in person or via Zoom.
In January 2021 I gave birth to my first baby. Yoga, with the necessary adjustments, helped me to go through pregnancy feeling good and strong most of the time. But postpartum surprised me. Suddenly my body was weaker, more sensitive and all the time went to care for the baby. I had to start moving, knitting the body back together and become strong enough to handle a busy life with a baby. However, doing too much too soon can be harmful and slow down the healing progress - and knowing where to start was really confusing!
As so many women I had diastasis recti and a bladder prolapse. My doctor gave me the advice to just do Kegels (pelvic floor contractions) and avoid heavy lifting. But this didn't work at all and even made some symptoms worse. Unfortunately this is a very common story. Women are told that either kegels will fix anything (which in most cases they don't and can even be harmful) or that this is the new normal - now that they have given birth. Too often have I heard about or met women who gave birth 30 years ago and still have problems with prolapse, incontinence, back pain or an unstable core. Knowing how amazing our bodies actually are and what healing capacities they have, I had to deep dive into learning how the postpartum body really works.
This led me to take the course Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist and become certified by Dr. Sarah Duvall. As she describes it herself, it is something in between physiotherapy and personal training, focusing on rehabilitation first and then progressing to making us moms as strong as we need to be to live our lives with ease and joy.
Taking this course at that time was the best thing I could do to really understand my body in this new state of postpartum and to help me in my own healing process. Realizing how everything in the body is connected and feeling what my body needed at that moment, I made significant improvements in just a few days.
However, the process of healing after child birth still takes a long time. It took the body 9 months to grow the baby and transform into this new life-bearing role: abdominals get stretched out and separated, other muscles have to compensate and get stiff and achy, organs were moved and squeezed into all directions and of course the pelvic floor had to deal with a lot, regardless of the method of giving birth. Only to mention a few of the transformational tasks.
The body will take at least the same amount of time to recover. But we can support the process if we just know how! I am now very happy to integrate this knowledge about pregnancy and postpartum with my previous knowledge about yoga to create personalized individual sessions to support you where you are and move in the direction you want to go.
Explanation of some common pregnancy and postpartum ailments
When the body makes room for the growing baby the abdominal muscles separate and the midline fascia (Linea Alba) in between gets stretched. This happens to all pregnant women who carry a baby full term. For some this process reverses naturally postpartum while for other women it stays and we have to consciously work on it to get these muscles back together. Untreated diastasis recti can create instability and weakness in the core and lead to other problems such as back pain and SI joint pain. It can also be the reason why the belly doesn't go back to it's pre-pregnancy shape after giving birth.
Pelvic organ prolapse
is when the pelvic floor weakens and either bladder, rectum or uterus descend down into the vagina. It is estimated that around 50% of all women might experience this condition to some degree. It can impact quality of life to various degrees, causing pain and discomfort during daily activities, exercise and especially during sex. Finding out that one has pelvic organ prolapse paired with bad advice that is often given can be devastating for many women. It often creates a fear of movement which in turn leads to worsening of symptoms and can further lead to depression, assuming one has to give up so many things one loves.
Involuntary leaking is very common and happens to most people at some point in life. It is especially common after childbirth and often occurs when there is high pressure downwards, for example when sneezing, coughing, running or jumping. The reason for leaking can vary, some of them are inadequate pressure management, hormonal shifts (breastfeeding or menopause), weakness or stiffness in the pelvic floor.
Pelvic girdle pain / SI joint pain
In pregnancy - when the body prepares our body for childbirth - hormones help to make the joints more loose for being able to open up enough for the baby to fit through the pelvis. The joints stay loose the first time postpartum and even longer if you breastfeed. This together with lack of core stability, poor posture and one sided activities (e.g. shifting too much weight onto one leg, carrying the baby more on the strong side etc) tends to create muscular imbalances that can pull the joints into different directions and thus cause pain.