The Mummy MOT
The Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal assessment recommended for all women following delivery. Ideally you would come in for assessment from 6 weeks after delivery, but even if you delivered months or years ago, the assessment will still be extremely useful for you. Remember you are always postnatal, no matter how long ago you had your baby.
You will be asked lots of questions in order to get a better understanding of your body and any concerns you may have. Then your posture, breathing, abdominal muscles and pelvic floor function will be assessed in greater detail. The aim is to help you to get back to normal and to prevent long term health complaints related to childbirth.
Lindsey Graham, a Women's Health Physiotherapist provides The Mummy MOT at JP Physio
What does the assessment involve?
One hour post natal assessment
A thorough and in-depth 60 minute assessment of all issues related to pregnancy and childbirth. You may have no symptoms at all at the moment or you may be struggling with incontinence, back pain, abdominal weakness, pain with intercourse and other symptoms of childbirth. Either way, this assessment will identify any problem areas and will guide you through a rehabilitation program designed to restore you to good health, normal core function and exercise goals.
Pregnancy can have a major effect on your posture and you can struggle with many problems due to a poor posture. This assessment will highlight problem areas such as weak or tight muscles that may be causing you to adopt a poor posture. Treatment, exercise and stretching can improve your posture and help you to move more freely every day with less pain and discomfort.
It is so important to breathe correctly and so many women following childbirth will have an altered and dysfunctional breathing pattern. As part of the Mummy MOT program, you can learn how to breathe correctly and to make the most of the breaths you take every day. With a correct breathing pattern, your core will be more effective, your bowels will be happier and you will be more likely to maintain that good posture you are working towards.
Separation of the abdominal muscles or Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA) is very common following pregnancy and childbirth. You may have noticed a doming of your tummy in pregnancy when getting up out of bed or you may now be experiencing a weakness of the abdominal corset. Sometimes, DRA can prevent your abdominals from returning to normal after childbirth. With an assessment and diagnosis, you can then find out the right exercises you need to help. Caesarian scars and any concerns are also assessed within the session.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Assessment
Whether you have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section, you are at risk of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. The hormonal effects of pregnancy and the weight of the baby sitting on your pelvic floor can over stretch the muscles, leading to weakness and dysfunction. Add to this the effects of delivery and the possible weakness of other muscles in your core (such as your abdominals), you are at heightened risk of symptoms such as incontinence and vaginal prolapse. You may not have symptoms at present but it is really important to have the peace of mind that you are doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly and completing a specific muscle training program that will help you get on track for good strong muscles into the future.
What happens after the assessment?
The assessment is designed to identify problem areas that you need to work on to restore normal function and activity.
Following the assessment, we will discuss our findings with you and together you can organise a plan of action. We can work closely, where needed with your GP and hospital specialists, Pilates Teachers, Nutritional Therapists and mental health services should you need an onward referral. You may be advised you need follow up Physiotherapy treatment and rehab within the clinic.
We will provide you with an evaluation summary, that is yours to take away. You will also receive a bespoke post-natal recovery programme, to incorporate lifestyle and fitness goals. This includes specific and safe postnatal exercises to improve stability, posture and core strength as well as addressing nutrition and emotional health/ well being.
Why The Mummy MOT?
Most women after having a baby have weakness in either their tummy or pelvic floor muscles, which then creates instability. This in turn can lead to back/ pelvic pain and bowel and bladder weakness. Here are some of the statistics in more detail:
50% of women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction
50% of women who have had children have some degree of symptomatic or asymptomatic pelvic organ prolapse
Women who are incontinent before pregnancy are 5 times more likely to leak after birth than women who are continent before pregnancy
52% of women with lower back pain during pregnancy were found to have pelvic floor dysfunction
45% of women have urinary incontinence 7 years post-natally
36% have rectus diastasis abdominis 8 weeks after delivery