Rehabilitation after childbirth

Physiologic’s Director Martha English runs Mummy MOT clinics in London, Reigate and Hythe. Here she explains why:

“There’s a reason I do what I do, and that is the statistics that show half of all mothers suffer from a weak pelvic floor after giving birth, and over one third of women are affected by ongoing pelvic pain or a tummy gap. It enrages me that the post-natal rehabilitation of women is not more prevalent in this country.

“We cannot let another generation of childbearing women suffer these terrible consequences when so many of the symptoms are controllable, improvable and even completely surmountable given the right treatment, exercises and advice.”

So what is a Mummy MOT?

A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal check for mums following delivery (vaginally or by c-section). During a consultation, the strength and function of the pelvic floor and stomach muscles will be assessed and how these are supporting the pelvic organs after childbirth. If a dysfunction is found, exercises and treatment will be provided to help recovery. In France, where Martha has worked previously, check-ups were and still are a standard part of every new mother’s postnatal rehabilitation.

It’s recommended that mums have an initial check-up 6 weeks after giving birth, but it’s possible to treat women many years later to help them regain their core strength.

If you consider the changes the body goes through during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s not surprising that nearly half of all women’s bodies do not recover from the experience without some sort of intervention. New mothers may hope everything will miraculously get back to normal but they are not in a position to assess what is and what’s not normal in their bodies after giving birth. They may think that certain consequences are expected and don’t realise they have a problem that can be fixed.

It is not normal to:

  • Leak when you cough or run.
  • Have pain during sex.
  • Have ongoing pelvic pain or debilitating constipation.
  • Have a gap in your tummy where your muscles have weakened and can’t support your core or abdominal organs effectively.

If you have any of these debilitating conditions, you can be reassured that almost all of them can be improved, alleviated and often remedied entirely through a personalised exercise and manual manipulation programme. In most cases, no drugs or surgery are required – it’s just a case of being armed with some knowledge, getting the right treatment and doing the correct exercises.