There is no disputing that when our babies are born, they receive the best possible care. They are loved and cherished as they deserve; those tiny, precious human beings place this huge responsibility in our hands. For most of the population, we embrace that responsibility and wear it as a badge of honour. We want to nurture them. It comes instinctively. But what about us? Are we loved and cherished following childbirth? Are we looked after in the way that we need and deserve? Childbirth is a traumatic experience, but are we receiving the support we need and deserve afterwards?
“Over half of women will experience weakness in both the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy, and up to a third still have a tummy gap at eight weeks postpartum. This can cause poor core strength leading to pelvic or back pain, or bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction. No one should have to deal with that alone”.
So, if such a high statistic of physical health problems occur after childbirth, why isn’t women’s postpartum care a higher priority. That’s the golden question. Times are changing but are they changing fast enough? Personally, I don’t think so, but I am doing my best to try and change that. My mission is to reach and help as many women as I can.
In the UK, all new mums are encouraged to make an appointment with their GP at around eight weeks postpartum. This sounds amazing, but what does that appointment usually involve. From my experience, it involves being asked how we are doing mentally and physically, but I am not sure that any of us can really answer that question. I still can’t believe we are expected to know how our vaginas have recovered following such trauma. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t even know what ours looked like before, because we were never encouraged to take a peek. Some parts of our anatomy are still considered taboo to talk about or to understand…our vulvas being one of them.
Things need to change. Young women need to be encouraged to know their bodies better. Pregnant women need to be educated on pelvic health before childbirth, not as an afterthought once their babies have arrived. And more in-depth examinations need to be a standard part of postnatal care. Just a verbal conversation is NOT enough for anyone. New mums need someone in “the know”, someone with knowledge and experience, to look at their vaginas, talk about their vaginas, and educate them on the right way to look after their healing bodies. It is not a big ask.
So, what exactly is a Mummy MOT?
“A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal examination for women following both vaginal and C-section deliveries. It assesses how your posture, pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles are recovering after childbirth. A qualified Mummy MOT physiotherapist will provide you with gentle exercises and treatment to help your recovery and get you back on track with your fitness goals.”
The Mummy MOT
This examination is something that I firmly believe that all new mums should have access to and, therefore, something that I now offer at my women’s physio clinic in Ketton, Stamford. I completed my registration last year, and am now a fully qualified Mummy MOT Practitioner.
Let me tell you exactly what to expect from a standard hour-long assessment:
This type of examination following childbirth is considered standard treatment for all new mums in many other countries worldwide. However, although this isn’t the case in the UK, it is becoming increasingly popular. Giving birth can be a hugely traumatic experience for so many women and requires an immense amount of mental and physical effort. Yes, it is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean that we should suffer in silence if this process takes a negative toll on our bodies.
Many symptoms can be experienced following childbirth, including dragging and heaviness, often associated with prolapse and incontinence. These symptoms, although very common, are not normal and should not be treated as something just to be lived with and tolerated. Every new mum deserves the right to be supported with her recovery and guided in the right direction.
Let me help you, you deserve to prioritize your health.
In summary, a Mummy MOT is the first step in regaining confidence in your body again following childbirth. It is an opportunity to discover the extent of the trauma your body has been through and get yourself on that path to recovery. At the Esther.Health clinic we can offer you the support and advice you deserve, so you can get back to being you.
If you live in the Ketton, Stamford area of the UK, why not book yourself an appointment.
It is time to stop suffering in silence. You are deserve more! Why not come and see me at my clinic in Ketton, Stamford Physiotherapy Womens Health Stamford (esther.health). Alternatively, I offer virtual consultations for those further afield or outside the UK.
Don't forget to join our online support group of almost 4K women. Come and join us on Facebook (5) Pelvic Power Movement Community | Facebook.