I was recently given the incredible opportunity and great privilege to collaborate with doctors, physical therapists and birth professionals in the kind of book that should be handed out in high schools and gynecologists offices. This book was a passion project like no other. All of the authors of this book had something unique to share. From personal stories, to anatomy lessons, to helpful tips and solutions to some of the most common postpartum symptoms.
But this book is not just for women. Men have a pelvic floor too. And many even suffer from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) without even knowing it. Do you know a man who refers to his “dad belly”? That could very well be related to PFD. In women it’s affectionately referred to as the “mummy tummy”, the fupa, the mom pooch. We’re told “you’re a mom now. It’s part of the package”, but it simply isn’t true. We just have to have the knowledge of how to fix...
I initially set out to create this 12 week program for myself. Because at 2 years postpartum I still looked 4 months pregnant, i had a very severe 4 finger diastasis (ab separation), I couldn’t pick up my child without feeling like my vagina was going to fall out, penetration was extremely painful, and i was just about ready to give up teaching Pilates.
The Pilates ab exercises just weren’t cutting it like they used to and no one seemed to be able to give me any answers. I even went to several of my most trusted mentors and asked them why it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach when I tried to do the Pilates ab exercises. And they all pretty much told me “your core is weak. You just need to do more of it”. I now know however that the absolute opposite is true! So in a last ditch effort, I turned to the teachings of some trusted physical therapists and finally found the missing piece of the puzzle - the core functions differently after birth and...
Stress Incontinence occurs when you cough, laugh, run, jump, sneeze etc, and you pee your pants a little as a result. This often happens when too much pressure is exerted on the bladder, forcing urine out. In most cases, this is a result of weakened pelvic floor muscles, usually due to childbirth, age, and/or menopause. But there are also circumstances that can aggravate stress incontinence, such as obesity, smoking, high-impact activities like running and jumping, and a chronic cough. Women can also experience stress incontinence when doing things like standing from sitting, getting in and out of a vehicle, lifting heavy things and having sex.
Urge Incontinence is also known as Overactive Bladder (OAB) and occurs when there is a strong urge to urinate despite the fact that your bladder may not be full. This urge is often strong enough that you can’t make it to the bathroom in time. While women with stress incontinence leak urine, women with urge incontinence may...
A diastasis is a thinning of the fascia in the front of your abdomen. When you peel an orange, think of fascia as being like the white layer between the juicy orange and the thick skin. Fascia is the layer in between your skin and your muscles and it runs through your entire body, connecting and facilitating movement. It’s an incredibly overlooked structure in our body that plays a key role in holding us together and is a very important piece of the body puzzle.
With a diastasis (or the thinning of this part of the fascia), think about when you wear a hole in the knee of your jeans from over stretching the fabric. That is essentially what has happened with a diastasis. But the big difference is that fabric cannot repair itself (you’d have to sew on a patch to prevent it from getting worse), but the body has a remarkable ability to repair itself. As long as you stop doing the things that are making the thinning worse in order to allow the body the space to heal.
So we all know and love high pressure ab exercises (crunches etc), but what exactly is a low pressure ab exercise? Well, it’s pretty much any ab exercise where the spine stays in neutral, and it can have varying degrees of intensity. Here’s an example of a moderate low pressure ab exercise for you to try:
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