Pre and Post Natal Kinesiology for New Parents

Highlights:

  • How a Kinesiologist can help a new parent or parent-to-be
  • Benefits of exercising with a Kinesiologist and a baby

 

A Kinesiologist can help:

  • focus on the movement of the human body in different postures and loads
  • assess muscle imbalances in the body
  • use exercise as a tool of intervention to return the body to correct recruitment patterns

The benefits of pre and post natal rehabilitation with a Kinesiologist include:

  • Improvement in energy and mood
  • Improved sleep
  • Lowered risk of certain pregnancy-related complications
  • Reduced pregnancy discomfort
  • Childbirth preparation
  • Reduced stress 
  • Increased circulation and blood flow
  • Quality exercise routines to establish an active lifestyle

Pre-natal women can expect Kinesiology sessions to include:

  • Pelvic floor and deep abdominal activation/endurance
  • Efficient breathing techniques and education
  • Musculoskeletal strengthening around common muscle groups and joints
  • Preparing new postures required for post-natal infant care

It is very important for pre-natal women to continue their strength, not only with their global (superficial) muscles, but their intrinsic (deep) muscles prior to giving birth. Similar to any surgery, there is extensive research supporting the importance of pre-habilitation (rehabilitation prior to surgery). An advantage of working with a Kinesiologist is that women can safely exercise throughout their pregnancy, as the workout guidelines change during each trimester. Strengthening pregnant women’s deep abdominal/pelvic floor muscles prior to giving birth will help assist with the delivery of her baby, and provide a smoother return to daily activities. Whether she is having a c-section or vaginal birth, it is beneficial to strengthen the muscles that will be affected during delivery.

Post-delivery, the woman’s muscles will have reduced in strength, however those who exercise these muscles prior to delivery will typically have more strength than if they were not exercised at all. An added benefit of pre-natal exercise with a Kinesiologist is that when you are ready to return to exercising, you get the comfort of re-strengthening your previously targeted muscles correctly with the same Kinesiologist who is familiar with your needs.

What can a Kinesiology session do for a new parent?

As a new parent with a quickly growing baby, the body is going to be experiencing a rapid increase in load with various holding postures, including: floor to waist, sustained waist holds, and lifting overhead. New parents can expect Kinesiology sessions to focus on rebuilding the activation and strength/endurance of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to support the added weight. Once the correct foundations of the body are active and supported, focus will be moved to hips, spine, and shoulder stability. The sessions will be a combination of clinical pilates and exercise rehabilitation, with the opportunity to include the baby. 

Men are invited just as much as women to come in for a Kinesiology session. Benefits include:

  • Rehabilitation of any previous injuries they may not have had time for in the past.
  • Bonding time with their new baby if they chooses to bring her/him in.
  • Strengthening their body into stronger sustained postures that they’ll need for carrying their baby, thus avoiding long-term injuries in the future.

What will a Kinesiology session involve if the parent brings their baby?

If a parent chooses to bring their baby, they will be introducing them to a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. There are a variety of exercises available for the parent and child to do together. For example, the Kinesiologist may invite the baby to sit with the parent on the reformer as the parent gains strength in their lower limbs, hip and core. They may also complete mat work pilates as the parent gains strength in the back, ribcage, and shoulders. It is a wonderful opportunity that benefits the parent and baby, creating a positive bond in the early stages of their life.

References

https://www.babycenter.com/0_eight-great-benefits-of-pregnancy-exercise_7864.bc

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy

Image References

http://onebodyosteo.com.au/tag/pilates/

http://activebabiessmartkids.com.au/articles/dads-and-baby-bonding/

Further Reading:

To read more about Women’s Health and find other articles written by Rebecca and #TeamGPP practitioners, click here.

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