Tips for new Mama’s during lockdown

New Mama ‘s

CONGRATULATIONS on your new arrival!  This is understandably one of the most exciting yet daunting times of your life, no more so with these uncertain times we find ourselves in. new mammanew mamma

Your body has been through an incredibly amazing, traumatic experience, whether you were able to have your desired birth plan, a natural birth, assisted birth or a C-section, you need time to recover, physically and mentally.  Even though we are currently on lockdown, it is really important that you don’t over look your healing needs and recovery.

We will discuss some basic tips to help aid you with your postnatal recovery through these difficult times.

Nutrition

Nutrition is a fundamental factor in your recovery, the food you put into your body will affect your recovery time, here is a brief overview of the important food groups, which are all anti-inflammatory, to include in your diet.

  • Antioxidant rich foodsg. Dark chocolate, oregano, cranberries, basil, pecans, ginger, turmeric, kidney beans, thyme, cinnamon, and more.
  • Foods high in Omega 3g. Flaxseed, walnuts, kidney beans, cold water salmon, leafy greens, winter squash.
  • Vitamins A g. Orange and yellow vegetable and fruits.
  • Vitamin C g. bell pepper, broccoli, strawberries, Kale, pineapple, orange.
  • Vitamin E g. vegetable oils, almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, kale.

 

new mammaBreastfeeding

If you are currently breastfeeding and are struggling or need any extra support, please get in touch with your local breast feeding clinic, or Health Care Visitor they are here to help you, you may not be able to see them face to face but they should be able to speak to you over the phone.  Below is a link with advice on different breastfeeding positions you can try.

https://www.mother.ly/top-breastfeeding-positions-what-they-are-and-when-to-try-them

Pregnancy and breastfeeding/bottle feeding cause a tightening and shortening of the myofascial frontline, putting strain on your lower back and neck, here are some exercises that you can do to try to alleviate these symptoms.

 

  1. Hip flexor stretch

  • Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent.
  • Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
  • You should feel the stretch at the front of your hip, in your back leg, and into the front of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Pectoral stretch

  • In a split stance, left leg in the front and right leg behind, stand at the end of a wall or in a doorway.
  • Bring the right arm up to shoulder height and position the palm and inside of the arm on the wall surface or doorway. Your arm should be at a right angle.
  • Gently press the chest through the open space to feel the stretch.
  • Moving the arm higher or lower will allow you to stretch various sections of the chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Levator scapula stretch (neck stretch)

  • In a standing position, drop your chin to your chest, rotate you head to the right to look at your right hip.
  • Lower you left shoulder, taking your fingertips towards the floor.
  • Take your right hand and gently place it on top of your head and allow the weight of your arm to gently lower your chin closer to your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Pelvic floor

The pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.  Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor including; pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, menopause, constipation, chronic coughing, and being overweight.

Up to half of all women experience weakness in both the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles after giving birth.  This can cause instability or poor core strength leading to women developing pelvic or back pain or bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction.

A great first step in taking back control of your pelvic floor is to do Kegel exercises. 

How to do them:

  1. Sit or lie down, imagine you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind at the same time as trying to stop passing urine and slowly squeeze and lift the muscles.
  2. Try to keep your stomach, legs, and buttocks relaxed.

Exercises

  1. Take a deep breath in, exhale while slowly contracting your pelvic floor, hold for 3 seconds, inhale and slowly release your pelvic floor.  Repeat 10 times.  You can progress this exercise by building the hold up to 5 seconds then 10 seconds.
  2. Quick contractions. Take a deep breath in, exhale as you contract your pelvic floor maximally as fast as you can, inhale as you relax.  Complete 10 quick contractions one after the other.
  3. Lift contractions. Level 0 is when your pelvic floor is completely relaxed, level 10 is when your pelvic floor is contracted maximally.

Inhale, as you exhale slowly contract your pelvic floor to level 3, then contract to level 6, then contract to level 9.  As you inhale, relax your pelvic floor to level 6, then to level 3, then to level 0.  Repeat 10 times.

Try to do these exercises 3 times a day.  You can progress them by building up from performing them lying down, to seated to standing.

If you experience any worsening of your symptoms after completing these Kegel exercises then stop.

If you have any worries or concerns about your pelvic health then please contact your GP or a women’s health specialist.  I recommend seeking out a Women’s Health Physiotherapist that has trained in The Mummy MOT, follow the link to find your local practitioner www.mummymot.com   They may not be able to see you face to face but they will be able to do a telephone consultation and discuss the next appropriate step to take.

Do not suffer alone, whether it is physical or emotional struggles you are experiencing there are people out there to help you, pick up the phone and contact your GP, health visitor, friends and family or Theale Wellbeing Centre, our therapists are here to help. Most of all enjoy this wonderful time be a new mamma.

Naomi Qualters-Fry BSc Hons, ISRM

Clinical sports massage therapist, Pregnancy & postnatal soft tissue therapist, Scar massage therapist

Tel: 0118 930 3535

Email: [email protected]

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