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Stretches for Achy Hips!

Without rehabilitation, the postnatal body has a non optimal core. From Diastasis Recti to pelvic floor dysfunction, inhibited multifidus/lower back muscles (especially in the lumbar spine), thoracic immobility (tight ribs), and possibly abdominal adhesions from a C-Section incision- there are a multitude of maternal physiological impairments to consider. The body continues to perform by enlisting non optimal biomechanics to compensate for the lack of core strength. Compensatory strategies help to achieve the stability, strength and endurance that the core is not providing, but exacerbate deteriorating movements in a snowball effect. This is very evident in the pelvis. When the deep stabilizing core is unable to provide adequate pelvic stability control, the smaller muscles that are designed to help the core take on too much of the task. They become stuck, gripped, and can cause referred pain throughout the body.
Knowing to stretch the common overused and vulnerable mus…
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Sugarfree Ways to Satisfy your sweet tooth!

For all of you chocolate lovers, here are some things that have satiated my cravings!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding:
1 avocado1 Tbsp Coconut Milk Cocoa to tasteHoney to taste Serve with bananas, strawberries, on toast, crepes, etc mmmmmmmm

Hot Cocoa:
1+ Tbsp cocoa 1 + Tbsp coconut milkHoney to taste

Eat chocolate with nuts! Try semi sweet chocolate chips mixed with raisins, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, or sesame snacks. The protein will satiate your appetite and reduce your craving. The flavors are delicious!

Smoothie Recipe

Here is my go-to smoothie recipe for everyone who has asked me for it.

I blend all the powders, oils and liquid before adding the fruit. Add water to thin to taste. 

This is always very sweet and yummy and full of nutrient dense choices. I make a 9 cup batch each week and keep it refrigerated in the blender carafe. When I need a serving I throw it on the base and whip it; sometimes adding ice.

I'm sure you could try any variation of this recipe, adding or omitting ingredients. I swear by this concoction; it keeps me feeling like a lean mean metabolic machine :)

Smoothie recipe: (my go to)
1/3 cup coconut milk powder (base)1 cup water1 cup almond milk (protein)1 cup OJ (I use concentrate + 1 cup water)2 frozen bananas (potassium + sweet)2 scoops natural hemp powder or ancient grains powder (quinoa, millet etc)1 Tbsp Coconut oil (energy)1 Tbsp Flax oil (inflammation)1 avocado (super food + healthy fat)3/4 cup frozen fruit- I like pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, mango. Usuall…

Is it Safe to Run with Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

In support of Incontinence Awareness Month June 2015

Is it Safe to Run with Pelvic Organ Prolapse?


I was a recreational runner pre-baby. Post-baby, I suffered stress incontinence when I returned to the sport. I was fine while running, coughing or sneezing, but if both happened simultaneously I peed my pants. Although it improved as I recovered, it never fully resolved until I addressed it with a restorative exercise program. From a pelvic floor assessment I found out I have both a grade one cystocele and rectal prolapse.

There are many moms who run with symptoms of incontinence, from a few drops to full bladder leakage. The solution is not to wear a pad, it is to address the obvious weakness and strategically strengthen the muscles to support the sport. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Running involves impact and requires the core strength necessary to support it.
Stress incontinence is a symptom of core dysfunction and often related to diastasis recti (although not always). Runn…

Returning to Plank After Diastasis

My latest contribution to the Maternal Goddess Community:

Returning to Plank After Diastasis


Diastasis Recti is a separation in the abdominal wall caused by an excess of intra-abdominal pressure. Movements that we know create such excessive intra-abdominal pressure include crunches, sit ups, v-sits and supine leg lifts. These movements are contraindicated.
While rehabilitating a DR, front loaded positions are avoided because the abdominal wall does not have the strength to support the weight of the organs. Once the core is functional, plank position can be reintroduced as a “go-to” for core strengthening.

A functional core is one that creates enough tension to support the abdominal wall through meaningful movements as well as exercise. In order to support plank position the core must have both the strength to create tension and the endurance to maintain it with the extra weight of the front loaded position. Core strength and endurance exercises to prepare for plank include upri…

5 Essential Exercises for Postpartum Fitness

Years ago I proudly used the tagline: “I can help you get your pre-baby body back!” I no longer use that language as I think it is flawed. You’ve had a baby and your body has changed. My new slogan has become, “I can help you make your postnatal body stronger than your pre-baby body ever was!”

Your core needs retraining. Organs have shifted, ribs have moved, the abdominal wall has stretched beyond belief and the pelvic floor has carried an incredible amount of extra weight. Core rehabilitation has to be the underlying focus of your strength routine. Not sure where to start? Here are 5 of my go-to exercises for every postnatal client to help achieve a strong and healthy postpartum body.

Activating and training the glutes is imperative to pelvic stability control, which is why exercises involving the glutes are key to attaining postpartum fitness.

1. Squat: If your quads are more sore than your glutes, you are not squatting correctly! The lower your squat the more quads yo…

Why Surgery Isn’t the Answer for Diastasis Recti Abdominus

My latest contribution to the Core Expectations blog:

Surgery is often suggested to repair a Diastasis Recti (separation of the rectus abdominal muscles). My clients often ask me if they are candidates for surgery, and there is both a short and a long answer to this question. The short answer is “unlikely.” In my experience, surgery for a Diastasis is a rare case scenario. 

What determines the small percentage of women who require surgery to repair a Diastasis Recti?

The inability to create any tension in the linea alba with proper core cueing may be a surgical situation – with no functional core support the system is weak and vulnerable to injury – but it is still a long process to say that definitively. 

Here’s the long answer.

If after teaching a client effective cues to recruit the core 4 muscles (diaphragm, pelvic floor, transverse abdominis and multifidi), she is unable to generate tension in the linea alba, more work is prescribed as homework in the hopes that with practic…