Movement is the quickest, most effective way to tap into your body's Strength & Wisdom
Every Mom I meet wants to know how to move/exercise. I am such an advocate for exercise BUT post-baby our body has changed & more often than not we need some hands on guidance, adjustment or release to help get our muscles firing again in a way that will be SUPPORTIVE to our bodies and PREVENT any long term conditions especially in the pelvic region. I am so pleased since I establised the Wahine WoF® service that its popularlity continues to grow here at Hawkes Bay Pelvic Health & Women’s Physiotherapy. My key focus is to continue to strive to create a beautiful healing environment & approach, empowerment and reconnection to your body for those that attend. I’ve found that the more you understand how your body works and the more it makes sense, the more you’re likely to actually do the work to take care of your body especially at this vulnerable stage in our lives after having a baby!
What is a Wahine WoF®? A Wahine WoF® is a Mummy post-natal assessment, so you can get the lowdown on What's NORMAL and What's NOT after having your baby!
The Wahine WoF® is aimed to help post-natal women in their recovery journey, firstly helping them to recognise and understand any current or potential post-natal issues they may have and then assisting them in rehabilitating safely and appropriately, thereby preventing the likelihood of long-term problems developing. With the ultimate aim to prevent the development of long-term childbirth-related issues.
Why is this SO Important? During pregnancy, labour and birth, a woman’s body undergoes significant changes and in many cases, trauma. A woman will experience alterations to her posture, her pelvic floor function and muscle length and strength, which may ultimately lead to problems such as Pelvic, hip or Low Back Pain, Abdominal Diastasis [tummy gap], pelvic organ prolapse, postpartum depression and varying degrees of urinary or bowel incontinence. These are just some of these "no big deal" complications that can arise for women who have given birth. And compounding all these symptoms is the narrative that instructs women to remain silent about their postpartum woes. Worse, it's treated like something women should easily bounce back from. And while some of these symptoms can occur immediately or soon after birth, they are more likely to happen during or after menopause as our hormone levels shift, which means that pelvic floor health is a lifelong goal. Because no matter when a your symptoms occurs, the impact it has on a woman's life is devastating. Shame, depression and a sense of isolation are all common. Some women never seek help because of the embarrassment associated, and those who do sometimes need to fight to be taken seriously - this is where I come in to help. It’s been widely proven that the physical changes a woman experiences after having children can impact her mental health. In a recent survey (2019 MUTU),87% of women said that dealing with pelvic health issues had affected their mental health at some stage (That % is HUGE!!) This is really sad to me. It breaks my heart. And when you add to this, another statistic, that approximately 68% of women with mental health problems are MOTHERS. Being a New MOM is a challenge and a struggle, it's hard. So when you then layer on top this, the burden of pelvic floor issues and the mental strain that that can cause, that just really exacerbates everything that you might be dealing with at that stage. The reality is that actually 50% of postpartum women, so women who've given birth, experience some degree of pelvic organ prolapse, painful sex or symptoms of bladder and/or bowel dysfunction. Unfortunately, some women often return to exercise and function after birth, without being aware of, or understanding the issues they may be experiencing, often making them worse as a result. Sadly there’s a lot of build-in shame around this personal area of our body, aside from the fact of prolapse and incontinence. I see so many women totally disconnected from this important area of their body. Its so eay to ignore the signs our bodies is giving us because so many conditions ans symptoms of the pelvic region have been normalised as "thats just what happens after you have a baby" in our society!
Who Would Benefit from a Wahine WoF®?
ALL post-natal women should have a Wahine WoF® and post-natal rehabilitation. If more post-natal problems were identified and dealt with, this would significantly reduce the development of long-term problems and the associated physical, emotional, psychological and social stresses that accompany these problems. The assessment helps women to avoid these distressing and often embarrassing symptoms. SO MANY symptoms are controllable and improvable and can even be resolved with the right treatment and advice. Bernadette is extremely passionate about educating and helping women at this important stage in life. It is important that you do not feel embarrassed to discuss any post-natal problems you may be experiencing, or worse, feel as though these symptoms are normal or are to be expected. It may be carried out from 6 weeks, to anytime after birth. Once post-natal always postnatal. It is never too late to address post-natal complaints or problems.
What does the Wahine WoF® involve? The Wahine WoF® will involve the following:An hour post-natal assessment with Bernadette Examination of tummy, pelvic floor muscles and your breathing Examination of all pelvic floor concerns Assessment of any physical or emotional problems arising from pregnancy and birth A Post-natal recovery plan devised especially for you, your lifestyle and fitness goals.
What happens after the WahineWoF®? A treatment plan will be discussed with you depending on findings. You may require some ‘hands on’ treatment or exercise progression and this will be explained to you on the day of your assessment. Treatment options will be made available to you and then you may make the informed choice of which treatment pathway to take.
Bernadette is extremely excited to be able to offer this service to ALL women in the Hawke's Bay. Please note GIFT VOUCHERS are available.