Is the CARE really there for new Mum’s at their 6 week check up?
As a Postnatal Personal Trainer, one thing that I have noticed among many of my clients and fellow mummy friends is the lack of care provided at the 6 week check up after birth.
Growing and birthing a baby takes a tremendous toll on a woman’s body regardless of whether they deliver naturally or via caesarean. Once the baby arrives the patient focus quickly shifts onto the newborn and the mother is generally left to recover from the dramatic anatomical changes on her own.
At the 6 week check up, some mothers are simply being asked if they feel ok, or a general chat about contraception methods and if the external wound is healing.
This is simply not good enough! Regardless of whether someone is wanting to start exercising or not our health professionals need to be taking this crucial opportunity to provide the best possible care and assessment of a postpartum mother.
Her emotional wellbeing and support options need to be discussed. The condition of her pelvic floor should be assessed and educational facts provided. She should be assessed for abdominal separation and told of the risks associated with a return to exercise if Diastasis Recti is still present.
The main problem about this is that the postnatal exercise guidelines state to wait until the 6 week check up before commencing exercise. What is the point of this if they are not even being assessed for these conditions?
I have developed an acronym as a guide for mums to use at their 6 week check up to make sure that all bases are being covered. You may have to visit more than one health professional if they are not trained in all areas. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are receiving the best care possible as you embark on your journey into motherhood.
A postpartum body is forever, look after it.