The transition into motherhood is like climbing a mountain: with the ascent being pregnancy, the descent is the postpartum period, and of course, birth is the mountain top. (1)
You wouldn’t climb to the peak of Mount Everest without training, would you? The same should go for birth. Birthing a baby demands every aspect of the mother’s body and spirit. That is why proper training for it is necessary. (Continue reading to see my video below)
This starts with the core.
When you think “core training”, you may think about doing crunches or planks at the gym, but it’s so much more than that.
Understanding what the core consists of is vital.
The core is a 360 degrees powerhouse. The roof of the core is the diaphragm, and the core floor is the pelvic floor. The core comprises the internal and external obliques, lumbar erector spinae, and the transverse and rectus abdominis. This group of core muscles, working in synchrony and harmony together, drive all movement and power of the body.
In 2013, American chiropractor Dr Lindsey Mathews realized a gap in the training world for both pregnant and postpartum women (2). She started a blog in 2012 called BirthFit, which has turned into a worldwide movement to empower women in training and fitness during the motherhood transition. Through the BirthFit education program, BirthFit has developed industry leaders (me being one of them) worldwide to train pregnant and postpartum women for the climb of their lives efficiently and sustainably. (continue reading to see my video below)
In the early stage of BirthFit, Dr Lindsey research many teachings and philosophies of core stability and felt the concepts of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation aligned perfectly (2). DNS is the most comprehensive explanation of [human] movement and function (3).
The BirthFit team has created a core set of exercises to train the core to be dynamic and stable. These birthfit basics movements were specifically chosen for the motherhood transition because they incorporate innate human movement patterns and breath (keep an eye out for my September blog, which will be all about breathing during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum)
Did you know that 100% of women have abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti abdominal- DRA) during their third trimester (4). Another study showed that at six weeks postpartum, 60% of mothers had a DRA, 45.5% at five months postpartum and 32.5% at 12 months postpartum (5).
How do we heal DRA? With core and breathwork.
What is also fascinating is that babies have DRA as well- they are born with it. It is through breathing and innate core stability developments that the baby can close its abdominal separation. Pretty cool that the same goes for mothers.
This blog has just an introduction to BirthFit and the core. So no matter where you are on the mountain climb of the motherhood transition, I would love to meet you and help train your body for the climb of your life.
BirthFit Education: https://birthfit.mykajabi.com/store/Xy3nDKkS
Lindsey Mathews - How to Have a Healthy & Fit Pregnancy, Birth, & Postpartum Recovery, Stacked with Joe DiStefano. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/079-lindsey-mathews-how-to-have-healthy-fit-pregnancy/id1478699339?i=1000500053936
Richard Ulm- How A Chiropractor Can Help You Strength Train More Effectively, Muscle Medicine with Dr Emily Kiberd https://musclemedicine.libsyn.com/12-w-richard-ulm
Mota P, Pascoal AG, Carita AI, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of diastasis recti abdominis from late pregnancy to 6 months postpartum, and relationship with lumbo-pelvic pain. Man Ther 2015;20:200–5.
Sperstad JB, et al. Br J Sports Med 2016;0:1–6. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096065