Happy Mother’s Day! We hope you are all feeling appreciated and pampered by loved ones! Perhaps even more importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourselves! The mental and physical work of a Mother never ends, leaving us little “me” time, but consider the easy tips listed below. And remember, if we spend a little time focusing on ourselves we’ll ultimately become better supporters of our families.
We strive to educate patients by becoming more aware of their bodies and how they are affected by their environment and activities. Simply being more aware of our breathing patterns can have a big impact on our overall health. Awareness of our posture and how we use our muscles help us avoid pain and overuse injury. Learning how to relax and strengthen pelvic floor muscles can have a dramatic effect on incontinence and pelvic pain. Finally, mindfulness of what we are eating and drinking as well as how we eliminate influence disease and comfort.
Helpful hints you can try at home:
1. Notice how you are breathing, observe this during different activities and situations. Are you using your diaphragm to take breaths into your belly, or are you taking shallow breaths using your neck and chest muscles? Attempt to take 3-5 deep breaths 3 times per day. Inhale and exhale as deep as you can.
2. Set aside 5 minutes to lie down, relax, and think about one of your favorite places or activities. Analyze all aspects you can think of, the sights, smells, feels and sounds. If you become distracted by thoughts about dinner or your child’s report card, allow that thought in for a moment then go back to the happy place. Be aware of your breathing during this time.
3. Take time to go to the bathroom. When you feel a moderate urge to go, calmly walk to the bathroom, shut the door (lock it of you need to), sit down and relax fully. Visualize your pelvic floor relaxing and letting everything out. Avoid pushing or hurrying. Focus on understanding what a relaxed pelvic floor feels like.
4. Perform 10 pelvic floor contractions at least once daily. Make sure you are in a comfortable and relaxed position. Visualize pulling your deep pelvic floor muscles together and inward then fully relax. If this is easy, try holding each contraction for 5-10 seconds.
5. Fill a large glass or water bottle with plain water and sip it between breakfast and lunch, then again between lunch and dinner.
6. Analyze your posture while sitting and performing activities. Could you straighten your spine? Are certain muscles tense or strained because they’re doing too much work? Think about how you could change and reduce strain on your body.
The Women’s Health Team at Hope PT and Wellness strive to empower clients with information and motivation to improve pelvic, breast and bone health, as well as overall well-being. Pelvic health encompasses pre and post-partum conditions, pelvic pain, incontinence, urinary, reproductive and bowel function.
If you are struggling with symptoms or working on improving your health, Hope PT specialists are available to help. Our dedicated team of providers will use their advanced training, patient experience, and compassion to help guide you to success!
– Physical Therapist Emily J. Ladd, PT, OCS, CSCS, CMTPT