I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jurassic Park and how life has this extraordinary ability to just find a way! Of course, you know I've been thinking about how this relates to the pelvic floor. If you know me personally, you’ve probably noticed I have a tendency to “zone out”. People often ask me where I go. I’m usually dreaming about pelvic floor analogies. Lol.
We already know that the body has a remarkable ability to repair itself. Think wound healing, bone regeneration after a fracture, muscles repairing themselves after an injury, stomach lining renewal, liver regeneration, the list goes on.
A bit like when you buy a brand new car. At first it’s invincible and you can kind of drive it how you like with little to no consequences. But the older it gets, the more you have to take care of it to keep it running smoothly.
Same thing with the pelvic floor. If you give birth in your early twenties, there’s a really good chance your pelvic floor will be somewhat unscathed, your diastasis will come right back together on its own within a very short space of time after birth, and your body will likely be overall feeling pretty good. No prolapse, no aches and pains etc.
But give birth in your 30s or 40s, and it’s highly likely that you're going to need to take that car (aka your pelvic floor) in for regular service appointments. Meaning: your pelvic floor requires a bit more effort to keep it functioning well and symptom free.
Yes, you should strengthen your pelvic floor. But the issue with the way traditional “kegels” have been taught only gives you about 20% of the picture:
1. How do you know if what you’re doing is actually targeting the pelvic floor, and not some other nearby muscle?
2. Did the way you learned it incorporate the breath? Because if not, it’s highly likely something has gone awry. The pelvic floor needs to be moving in TANDEM with the diaphragm. If it’s not, you’re likely going to run into some pelvic floor related issues at some point in the near future. Almost like how repetitive strain injuries work.
3. Kegels give you all of the strengthening and none of the stretching. And we need BOTH for proper pelvic floor function.
So what should you do?
1. Start by releasing your pelvic floor with some of the following movements because we need flexibility in order to be able to do a good job of strengthening:
2. Learn how to incorporate your breath WITH your pelvic floor and start doing a few minutes a day of targeted pelvic floor strengthening.
3. Learn how to incorporate BOTH into your regular workouts (the Mama Method will teach you exactly how).
What we learn inside the Mama Method:
Phase 1 - RECONNECT
In the first 2 weeks we'll work very specifically to develop proper breathing habits and to reconnect the diaphragm with the core, whilst also working the entire body. This phase is perfect for early postpartum, recovering from a prolapse surgery or hysterectomy, or even for anyone who’s never been through a specific pelvic floor rehab protocol. Or maybe you have, but you didn’t understand it or felt like it didn’t help you much because it was confusing. I pride myself on explaining things in a way that anyone can understand.
Phase 2 - REBUILD
In weeks 3 & 4 we'll start to build steadily in intensity and strength. We'll focus heavily on core control and engagement, whilst starting to work the whole body a little bit harder. This phase is perfect for continuing to close a diastasis, reversing a mild prolapse, learning how to protect your back, and just generally getting a little stronger. In the Mama Method, we are careful not to go too hard too soon just for the sake of it or because that’s what everyone else is doing. We want to make sure the body is ready, so as not to cause injury and therefore setback. It’s all very strategic!
Phase 3 - RENEW
In weeks 5 & 6 we'll work on getting progressively loading the core (and the rest of the body) to build a new kind of strength. This is the phase that made my core stronger than it had ever felt before. And that is saying something coming from a Pilates instructor! This phase is everyone's favorite!
***Diastasis disclaimer: just know that typically it takes longer than 6 weeks to close a diastasis, and I recommend repeating the program as many times as you need to. The more times you do it through, the further your diastasis will close. And you get lifetime access. Once you know however, that your body is ready for more however, that’s when I recommend progressing to the Strong Mama 2.0 program.