When you think about all the things your mother had to battle while raising you (think: crazy schedules, toddler tantrums, work-life balance, laundry), you may not immediately think about all the quiet battles that you probably didn’t even know about. What about the battles your mother suffered in silence, because it was taboo or maybe she was embarrassed to mention to anyone. If you have a light stomach, you may not want to read further, because we are about to talk about the not-so-pretty short and long-term side effects of childbirth.
1. Incontinence. Yes, that little bit of uncontrollable pee during jumping rope or with a sneeze is not uncommon, but it is NOT NORMAL. Fables of old will have you believe that this is something all moms will have after childbirth, and you just have to deal with it. This is so wrong. That annoying leakage is treatable. Like any muscle, your pelvic floor can get weak and lose control after injury, but it CAN be taught to contract at the correct time again!! Breathing patterns and easy exercises and activity modifications go a long way to build up your tolerance to allow for you to return to what you love, whether that’s running or laughing so hard your belly hurts.
2. Pelvic Floor Pain. Like tightness in your upper traps and neck after a car accident, your pelvic floor can hold an increased amount of tension after trauma. This can cause (dun dun dun) painful sex, and is honestly a huge bummer for something that is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. In this battle, learning to relax those muscles is the biggest hurdle, but there are techniques and things to do that can help! (And kegels are definitely NOT the answer.)
3. Low Back Pain (Sacroiliac Pain). Hormones during pregnancy increase your bone’s ability to move and create space- a very beneficial thing during childbirth. Increased weight adds to the pressure, including carrying a growing infant plus baby gear and an infant car seat. Infants then grow into toddlers and young children that STILL want to be carried, and this usually happens on one hip. This wreaks even more havoc on a mother’s back. Even years after childbirth, your back may still need help to learn how to stabilize again. Proper lifting/child carrying techniques and relearning movement patterns can help.
4. CORE control. Many of the complaints I hear from new and experienced mothers revolve around not being able to contract the low abdominal muscles again, or that annoying low pooch that never goes away. Sit-ups do not seem to help, either. There are very specific exercises that can focus on turning back on the lower abdominal muscles and provide stability. This comes full circle, because improved abdominal control helps the issues mentioned above.
Being a mom is no easy job, and it’s made harder by these four issues (and more, but we are just focusing on these four for now). It’s highly possible that you or a woman you love has had to deal with these battles in silence. What is the upside? They are treatable, and Sports Performance is here to help!! For Mother’s Day, we have videos and special deals that are designed to help that special mother in your life deal with aches and pains that come with being a mom. We understand how much mothers deserve to be taken care of, too!!
As always, we hope this helps! For any questions and all suggestions, please email us at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com
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