Have you considered having a postnatal check by a physiotherapist? Suzanne Rasul, who offers the Mummy MOT service at BMI The Alexandra Hospital, explains just how beneficial the session can be.
A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal examination by a physiotherapist that can be beneficial for women following both vaginal and C-section deliveries.
It is an assessment of any physical problems after childbirth, including how your posture, pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles are recovering.
These things can all be affected during pregnancy and birth and the aim is to identify and avoid any potential issues arising from this.
What should I expect from my Mummy MOT session?
BMI The Alexandra Hospital offers one-hour Mummy MOT assessments. These include:
- A full posture screen
- An assessment of your pelvic floor muscles
- An abdominal muscle screen to check for abdominal separation (diastasis recti) and to see how your muscles are functioning
- Screening for bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction
At the end of this, you’ll be provided with a plan of bespoke exercises to help with your recovery and get you back on track with your fitness goals.
Who can benefit from a Mummy MOT? Can I attend even if it’s been a while since I gave birth?
Absolutely! This postnatal assessment is suitable for all mums from six weeks and beyond, especially if you are suffering in any way.
The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner your symptoms and issues will be alleviated. But, it's never too late to make an appointment.
Some women will still have a tummy gap and pelvic floor issues years after birth, and they can absolutely still benefit from the session.
What issues can the session help with?
Research shows us that 39% of women can still have diastasis (tummy separation) six months after giving birth. 15-30% of first-time mums will experience urinary leakage post birth, and over 50% of women will lose some of their pelvic muscular support following a vaginal delivery.
If you have a pelvic floor examination, we will then be able to give you a bespoke exercise programme to help you rehabilitate those muscles. Evidence shows that pelvic floor rehabilitation can improve pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
Despite what many people think, there are ways to stop these issues becoming long-term problems. These conditions are not something you should just put up with as a result of having a baby.
The Mummy MOT helps you to avoid distressing symptoms and problems with your tummy or pelvic floor by identifying any problems and devising a treatment programme to promote recovery.
You’ll have an assessment by a specialist physiotherapist, who will provide you with a range of safe postnatal exercises to improve your muscle strength and pelvic floor, as well as addressing any specific issues found during the assessment.
The advice will be tailored to you and your specific needs. This postnatal recovery plan is designed to get you back to your personal lifestyle and fitness goals.
What happens during a Mummy MOT?
The physiotherapist will spend some time talking and listening to any problems or issues you may be experiencing as well as asking you some questions.
The Mummy MOT includes an internal pelvic examination and for this you will be required to remove the bottom half of your clothing. You will be asked to sign a consent form before this exam takes place.
You’ll then get dressed again and the physiotherapist will assess your posture and tummy, and then start putting together an exercise programme for you to do at home.
It is advisable to bring some shorts to the appointment and maybe a vest top so the physiotherapist can assess your posture and movement patterns.
Will I need follow up treatment?
The physiotherapist will guide you through your exercises so you feel prepared to go home and do them yourself. If they feel you need more treatment, they will advise you at the end of the assessment.
How much does a session cost?
It is £72 for a Mummy MOT one-hour assessment and £52 for any subsequent follow up appointments, which are 30-minute sessions.
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