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Here’s What You Should Look For in a Postpartum PT
By Jen Dugard | Nov 22, 2021
Navigating motherhood is HARD. Trying to figure out all the best things for your baby can consume so much headspace that it leaves little time and energy for yourself. You know that exercise and movement as a new mum is important, and you possibly have some awareness to find a Personal Trainer or group class that is suitable for new mums but navigating to make sure that you can have complete confidence in the person you choose to trust your postpartum self with is tough.
I live by the phrase ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and I have never met a PT that is not out in the world doing the best job they can for their clients but they sometimes ‘don’t know what they don’t know’ and when you combine this with a new-mum who doesn’t know the right questions to ask or who she really needs it can be even more confusing!
From over 14years working in the fitness industry and with 12 of them working only with mums themselves or trainers who also specialise in working with mums (as the creator of mumsafe.com.au) there are a few quick give-aways to help you know you have found the best fit.
Knowing this will help you feel empowered and you’ll become more educated throughout the process.
Give-away 1: They ask you more than the ‘regular’ pre-exercise questions
If the only questions you get asked about your pregnancy and postpartum period are:
Have you had a baby in the last 12months?
Have you had your 6week check-up?
Do you feel okay?
Then it might be time to seek out someone new. A PT that truly understands how to work with you will go into much more detail.
Postpartum pre-exercise questions will include but will not be limited to:
What kind of delivery did you have?
(If vaginal) How long were you pushing for?
Was it an assisted delivery? (forceps or ventose)
Did you have any tearing or an episiotomy?
(If c-section) Was it planned or emergency?
Were you pushing beforehand?
How is the scar site healing?
They will then cover off questions about your pelvic floor and abdominal wall – and MORE!
Giveaway 2: They will ask you if you have seen a Women’s Health Physiotherapist and if not let you know who they actively partner with and help you to understand the benefits.
A trainer that knows how to work with mums will have a great relationship with their WHP. A PT is not able to see or feel your pelvic floor, which is an internal muscle. Nor can they properly assess your abdominal wall. They will let you know that their relationship with their WHP is vital in prescribing the best possible exercise for you.
Giveaway 3: They will explain what abdominal separation is and then check you for depth and width.
It is not within the scope of practice for a PT to diagnose anything (this is the role of the WHP) but a great pre and postpartum PT will be able to give you some feedback, and begin to prescribe the appropriate exercise.
Giveaway 4: They communicate well and ask you about all parts of your Motherhood experience
… because they know that when they are working with mums that they need to be aware of SO much more than simply what squats or lunges you should be doing. They will consider sleep, energy levels and mental health too.
Now you can go super sleuthing your way to find a great personal trainer for you in the postpartum period and be confident you can seek out the best fit!
By Jen Dugard
Jen Dugard is the founder and creator of MumSafe™️ - the go-to website for mums to connect with Personal Trainers that are certified, experienced and partner with Women’s Health Physiotherapists so that you know you are in very safe hands.
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