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The Mummy MOT

Gemma McGregor BSc (Hons) PGCert MCSP is a woman's health specialist, physiotherapist and educator.

Spring has sprung, the time for fresh starts, clear minds, and focus for the year ahead. If you have recently given birth, or are still suffering with symptoms of a past pregnancy, then getting that ‘spring’ in your step can be difficult.

Eight weeks after giving birth, up to half of all ladies still suffer with physical symptoms such as pelvic pain, back pain, tummy gaps and issues with continence. Without assessment and specialist advice these symptoms can linger and make life difficult for mums. Research has long shown a clear link between regular exercise and improved mental and physical health, but so many mums have never had the support or guidance needed to give them the confidence to factor in some important self care.

As women, we seem to accept the inevitability of lingering post natal symptoms or think of them as ‘what happens when you have a baby’. This then ends up restricting the types of exercise you do (if any) or the thing that really makes my heart sink - 'pad up' before going out.

As busy mums we are all guilty of neglecting our basic needs just to survive the trials of motherhood. I’m sure many of you have slept awkwardly just to avoid waking a sleeping baby, missed meals to fit in football practice, skipped relaxing baths to ensure the homework is done and even put off going to the toilet because you need to run out the door with kids in tow. So, it’s really no wonder mums don’t feel able to seek the support needed for that leaky pelvic floor, the back pain, or unresolving tummy gap. There is a very easy solution to this - give yourself the attention you deserve with a Mummy MOT. This will assess any areas of concern and give you the confidence to enjoy exercise without worrying you are making things worse, or make everyday life that bit easier if you have been struggling.

The postnatal checks provided in the UK rarely mention exercise or pelvic health and tend to be a quick chat about contraception. The Mummy MOT is a specialist hour long postnatal examination that I offer ladies following both vaginal or c-section deliveries. It assesses how your posture, back and pelvis, pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles have recovered.

It’s also important to say, it’s never too late! Whether you are 6 weeks postnatal or in your 80s, muscles weakened by pregnancy can always be strengthened.

I passionately believe that ladies deserve an in-depth consultation - it allows you to really talk about your pregnancy, birth and discuss your symptoms. No woman should be suffering with pelvic pain, abdominal weakness or separation, pelvic symptoms like leakage, prolapse, bowel constipation or bowel leakage. 60% of ladies will find a cure or improvement with physio alone - it should always be the first line option and I can also help to open doors to lots of other treatments available.

So if you are noticing symptoms in every day life - avoiding that Zumba class you always loved, using pads while you go for a run, speak up! Contact me today to make an appointment - there is so much that can be done!

> For more information or to book your own Mummy MOT please do get in touch. Email gemma@specialisedphysiotherapy.com Call: 07518 101700 or visit: www.specialisedphysiotherapy.co.uk