Why should everyone have a post-partum assessment after giving birth?

What is abdominal separation?
Growing a baby is a very exciting time! But can also be very strenuous on a women’s body. It is inevitable that as the baby grows, the parallel muscles of the mothers stomach separate from each other to allow space. Abdominal separation (or rectus diastasis) is partly due to the pressure of the growing baby, and also due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, especially in the second half of pregnancy. It is more common in women with more than one child, over 35yo, twins/triplets or a larger than average baby.

Why is it important?

After giving birth, every woman will have some degree of abdominal separation which is usually assessed post-partum by a hospital Physio. If the separation isn’t addressed and reduced, it can cause pelvic and lower back pain as the abdominal muscles don’t provide adequate support of the lower back. The separation can also widen and cause more problems for another pregnancy later down the track if not addressed quickly.

How long do you have to improve your abdominal separation?
They say the first 6 months after giving birth is the optimal time to get some closure in the abdominal muscles and reduce the separation. You do have up to 2 years, but after the first 6 months it does slow down and recovery becomes harder.

What does your initial assessment include to address your abdominal separation?
Our Physiotherapist Simone has a special interest in post-partum assessments and recovery. In your initial assessment Simone gets a thorough history about your pregnancy and delivery, including your current post-partum symptoms. She checks your abdominal separation and uses our real-time ultrasound machine to assess your pelvic floor and deep core muscles for their size, activation and endurance.

What does your treatment entail?
Once completing a thorough assessment, Simone does an individualised treatment plan for you to ensure optimal results and returning back to your usual physical activity safely and effectively post-partum. This might include a specific program to complete in our Mums and Bubs classes here at the clinic run by Simone, where you can bring your baby along to the class, or for others if requested a home program for you to do in the comfort of your own home, or a combination of both. The exercises include pelvic floor, deep core, mat pilates, general strength and fitness exercises. All of these help with your abdominal separation and return to your own desired fitness and activity goals.

Book in to have your post-partum assessment today and see how we can help you!