Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why we want you to know your Pelvic Floor

Within Body Beyond Baby we are continually looking at how we can improve what we do. We work closely with other health and fitness practitioners to ensure we are providing the best possible care for all of our mums. The reason we work closely with these people is because we believe it is important as Personal Trainers for us to 'know what we don't know'.  We work with many of our mums within a group environment and we believe in providing as individual a session as possible within that group environment. So, having a support network around us and as much knowledge as possible about each of our mums enables us to deliver the safest and most effective exercise for each and everyone of them.

One of the businesses that is vital to us doing what we do well is The Physiotherapy Clinic in Bondi Junction.  We work closely with Jo Murdoch and the team to ensure we know exactly what is going on on the inside and to assist us in guiding our mums through our Rebuild from the Inside Out philosophy.

One of the things that we offer in conjunction with Jo is a Pelvic Floor and Core workshop, where we teach our mums all about their pelvic floor and inner core, what it does, what can happen during pregnancy and birth and how to make sure they are setting themselves up to be fitter and stronger than ever before.  Within these workshops we use external Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) to assess each persons pelvic floor and transversus abdominal (TA) contraction.

At our most recent workshop we found a couple of interesting points that we would like to share with you:

1. Those mums that we had worked with during their pregnancy had a much better pelvic floor and TA awareness and a much stronger contraction (along with the ability to release)

2. Quite a few of the mums that had come to Body Beyond Baby after their pregnancy had the ability to contract both pelvic floor and TA (through the cues and techniques we had taught them) but were lacking in endurance - meaning that this is something we need to work on as a team and with our BBB mums.

With this information brings a dilemma:

1. How do we get in front of more pregnant mums to help them to learn these things prior to having their children so they are more equipped post birth?

2. We can help mums to work on the endurance of their pelvic floor but ONLY when we know they are doing it well.  If you can imagine that a correct pelvic floor exercise is when it is drawn up, and in turn an incorrect one is that of bearing down. If we were then to encourage someone who had not used RTU to ensure they were doing the correct activation, then asking them to hold that contraction and breathe (to train endurance), it could actually be counterproductive and make a weak pelvic floor worse!

What we will do:

1. We will be rolling out our Body Before Baby classes over the coming weeks so that we can reach more women and help to make their Body Beyond Baby journey an easier and more effective one.  If you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and might be interested in these sessions please get in touch and let us know.  We would also love to know WHEN you would like these classes to be held - before work, during the day, after work, weekends?  You can send an email here.

2. As much as we would LOVE to make the pelvic floor and core workshop or a one on one check up with our friends at The Physiotherapy Clinic compulsory we know that the most we can do is encourage you to make sure you are looking after you.  A quick and simple check up or attendance at our workshops will give you a much better picture of what is going on on the inside and allow us to work with you in the safest and most effective way.  This is often even more important for those mums who seem to bounce back after pregnancy and want to push hard in their training.  We need to make sure you are up to it and that we can do that safely!

As for the dilemma about training endurance - we will be adding endurance training to the sessions of all of those mums that have had their check up and know they are activating well.  For everyone else we will continue as we have been doing and hope that you now have a little more encouragement to go and find out more about your insides so that we can do our job even better and guide you to YOUR best ever body (whatever that means to you).

We'd also love to leave you with a testimonial from one of our mums that have benefited from our workshops and physio checks.

"When I went to Body Beyond Baby, I had three children, 5, 3 and 1 year old.  It had been some six years since training and I had heard alot of positive feedback from friends.  I chose the 6am morning session (as opposed to a mum and bubs class).  The first thing Jen and Amy did was check my separation.  It had closed up quite alot, I was down to one to two fingers, but it was quite deep.  Jen was hesitant to let me train with the others who were doing more advanced training.  I was so disappointed!

After training, I spoke with Jen and she suggested I come to a workshop.  A week later, I was in this session learning about what my core actually is.  How to do pelvic floor exercises properly and why (amongst other things).  I was blown away.  We ended the session with each woman having an ultrasound to make sure we were doing our exercises properly.

So many people have tried to 'teach' me all these exercises - but only under ultrasound could I actually know I was doing them correctly.  Jen was there, to make sure we had clearance to do specific types of training and to what level - I found this so helpful and amazing.

I recommend Body Beyond Baby to everyone.  And now I do my exercises properly!"

Jennifer Kennedy

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