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Bladder Leaks and what you can do about them

  Bladder Leaks & What You Can Do About It  The holiday season often brings together extended family- and, well, it also means that incontinence jokes tend to join the festivities as well! In case you haven’t heard, many mothers of the world have unwittingly joined a secret pelvic floor dysfunction club, often courtesy of childbirth. I was admitted seven years ago, even though I don't personally experience bladder leaks. Apparently, membership is assumed for us all .  This secret club is where the moms, aunts, older cousins  and grandmothers make private jokes and eye rolls about leaks, “oops moments” and not being able to jump on trampolines. Glamorous, right? And occasionally the whole family joins in on the joke whenever cousin Johnny breaks out his comedy routine and mom has to make a sprint to the bathroom.    Why is this happening, you ask? First, a bit of science.  Bladder leaks, medically known as urinary incontinence, affect millions of individuals worldwide. Despite i

The 5 Crucial Mistakes You Are Making With Your Pregnancy & Postpartum Workouts

Congratulations on your pregnancy or the recent arrival of your tiny human!  Whew!  How are you holding up?  This journey is an absolute whirlwind, isn't it?  
As an active and health-conscious mom myself, I know it's natural for you to want to prioritize your fitness and well-being during this transformative time. You may be chomping at the bit to get your body moving and feeling good.  I understand completely.  I want you to move and feel amazing as well.  However, it's essential to navigate your pregnancy and postpartum workouts with care.  You need to consider the changes your body is going through and recognize that every body, every pregnancy, and every postpartum recovery is unique. But I'm not here to add any more fear mongering.  You hear enough of that already.  The problem is with the amount of information overwhelm on the internet and social media.  It seems as if everyone is trying to give you advice and every influencer or fitness professional that's ever been pregnant has created a workout to share. How to do you know what is right?  And how do you know who to trust? 

If you are reading this, you can take a deep breath and know, I've got your back.  I'm a Pre and Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist with 15 yrs of experience in this field.  Here are five common mistakes many active moms make in their pregnancy and postpartum workouts, along with some valuable insights to help you optimize your movement sessions and achieve the healthy, strong, and balanced pregnancy and postpartum journey you deserve...without fear.
Mistake #1: You Are Comparing Yourself to Others Or To Previous Pregnancies
One of the most significant mistakes you can make is comparing yourself to others OR to yourself in previous pregnancies.  (I know you have all those weekly bump photos.  It's really hard not to compare.) Remember, each pregnancy and postpartum experience is unique, influenced by individual factors such as: genetics, fitness level, current lifestyle, nutrition, sleep, stress...the list goes on.  It's essential to focus on your own progress and well-being at this specific moment in time.  Celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may seem, and prioritize self-care and self-compassion. Listen to your body and take your workouts at your own pace, rather than pushing yourself to match someone else's journey.  You do you!
Mistake #2: You Aren't Strengthening Your Core and Pelvic Floor  
During pregnancy and childbirth, the core and pelvic floor muscles undergo significant changes and may weaken. Neglecting exercises to strengthen these areas can lead to short and long-term issues such as back pain, diastasis recti, pelvic floor dysfunction or pelvic girdle pain. Incorporate targeted core and pelvic floor exercises into your routine, under the guidance of a pre and postnatal corrective exercise specialist who understands the specific needs of pregnancy and postpartum bodies. These exercises will help you maintain balance, strength and stability.  They will support your growing belly and aid in a faster, more complete postpartum recovery.
Mistake #3: You Aren't Choosing Pregnancy and Postpartum-Specific Workouts  
While there are a plethora of free workouts available on the internet or in various fitness apps, it's crucial to choose routines specifically designed for pregnancy and postpartum. (And FYI, just because someone works in fitness and has had a baby, it doesn't mean they are qualified to create pregnant and postpartum workouts.  Check their credentials, please! ) Generic workouts may not account for the changes your body is experiencing, increasing the risk of discomfort or injury. Working with a specialist, such as a certified prenatal/postnatal corrective exercise specialist, ensures that you receive tailored guidance and modifications to accommodate your evolving body. The goal is to keep you moving and feeling strong while minimizing risks and maximizing the benefits of exercise during this unique journey.
Mistake #4: You Are Exercising Too Much or Too Little 
Finding the right balance in your physical activity level is essential. Pushing yourself too hard during pregnancy or immediately after giving birth can lead to injuries, muscular imbalances, pain and exhaustion. On the other hand, not engaging in enough physical activity due to fear or lack of knowledge can result in many of the same results such as discomfort, aches, pains, pelvic floor dysfunction, diastasis recti, low back pain and extra weight gain.  It can even impact your overall health and that of your baby. The World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for pregnant and postpartum individuals. (And all people in general) Listen to your body, progress gradually, and prioritize your overall well-being.
Mistake #5: You Don't Have a Handle On Stress Management and Mental Health 
The pregnancy and the postpartum period can be emotionally and mentally draining. Neglecting your mental health can have adverse effects on both you and your baby. Engaging in stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, gentle yoga, breathing exercises and seeking emotional support can greatly benefit your mental health. Prioritizing self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation will have a positive impact on your overall well-being, making it easier to navigate the physical demands of pregnancy and motherhood.  This tip may sound like a such much of a no-brainer that you brush it off.  But it's probably the one you need to take the most seriously.  Not having a handle on stress is also the #1 reason I see improper breath and core mechanics in my clients.  Stress causes your body to shut down the diaphgram as your main breathing muscle. This leads to excess pressure and dysfunction within the core.  This is the main cause of diastasis recti, pelvic floor dysfunction and just about any other pregnancy and postpartum related symptom you can think of.  Not getting a handle on your stress, in my opinion, is the BIGGEST MISTAKE you may be making.

My avoiding these 5 common mistakes:
1. Comparing Yourself to Others Or To Previous Pregnancies
2. Not Training Your Core & Pelvic Floor
3. Choosing Inappropriate Workouts
4.Overexertion or inactivity
5. Neglecting Your Stress and Mental Health 
you'll set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling journey through pregnancy and postpartum.  Embrace this transformative time, and enjoy the many benefits that a safe and tailored fitness routine can bring to your pregnancy and postpartum journey.
If you are looking to consult with a specialist to ensure your workout plan aligns with your specific needs, please sign up for a no cost consultation with me, Coach Joanie, a Pre and Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist.   You can BOOK A CONSULTATION HERE


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