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Exercises For Diastasis Recti

Exercises For Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti in pregnancy is very common, and postpartum fitness can be challenging. You have just gone through a major physical and emotional life event and now you are trying to get some of your strength back. One of the main issues that many postpartum women struggle with is the diastasis of rectus abdominis. You may notice a bulge in the center of your stomach after the delivery of your baby. Here are some exercises for diastasis recti that you can try in the comfort of your home. Remember to check with your ObGyn before trying any workouts for diastasis recti to make sure it is safe.Below are 3 exercises for diastasis of rectus abdominis that you can do at home postpartum. The best part about these movements is that they require little, if any, equipment. Get into a hands and knees position, and find a neutral spine. Using your exhale to draw your belly in, think of hugging your organs, as you lift your knees one inch off the ground and hover.  Maintain this position making sure you aren’t holding your breathGet into a tall kneeling position making sure you are in a neutral spinal alignment, where your ribcage is stacked directly on top of your pelvis.  With your elbows bent at your sides, squeeze a yoga block or small ball and feel your abs engage. Maintain this squeeze and spinal positioning as you lean back as far as you can without losing your alignment or holding your breath. Return to the starting position and repeatLie on your back with your hips and knee bent into a tabletop position, arms straight in front of your chest. Make sure your ribcage is flush with your abdomen and your lower back is imprinted into the floor.  Gently squeeze a yoga block or small ball and feel your abs engage. Using your breath, Inhale reaching your arms as far as you can behind your head without losing your lower back or ribcage position. Exhale bring your arms forward and actively reach up to perform a small crunch.Stop these exercises if you experience any of the following:If the above happens, stop these exercises and try modifying your position or shortening your range of motion. You can also try using a breath strategy, such as an exhale during the movement to see if your symptoms resolve.  If the symptoms don’t resolve, stop the exercises and consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor therapist can help you find specific exercises and strategies to help strengthen your core.Keys to consider while doing exercises for diastasis recti:Before trying any workouts for diastasis recti, you must check with your ObGyn to make sure it is safe. Once your doctor has cleared you, begin exercising slowly. Increase your workout intensity as your body allows. Diastasis recti is a very common occurrence during pregnancy and postpartum. It may be more obvious when the abdominal muscles are tense. It does not only occur in pregnant people. Diastasis recti can also occur in men who have abdominal obesity. When considering diastasis it is important to know healing time frames.  Each person's birth experience is different and healing time will vary based off of the type of birth you had.  This can’t be sped up. While your body is recovering from birth it is essential to rebuild a solid foundation and progress strength slowly. Focus on intention when doing these exercises over the intensity of them! A common question moms often ask is what heals a diastasis.  And the answer is… no one really knows.  There is no one muscle that closes the gap.  Although thorough research has been conducted on this topic, there are no specific protocols or exercises that will do the trick. This is because the individual characteristics that make each of us unique such as how we DO life and our genetic make up all come into play when considering diastasis healing.   However, from the studies done, researchers believe healing a diastasis occurs through cellular signaling within the fascia in response to loading over a long period of time.  In other words, it takes a consistent load to the tissue over an extended period of time in order to create lasting change.It is important to remember that 5 minutes of exercise isn’t going to change what happens when you are upright for extended periods of time and engaging in other activities of daily life.  It is important to consider your alignment, breathing patterns, and body mechanics throughout your day as these foundational principles are just as essential to diastasis.
5 min read
How Long Do Postpartum Bleeding Last Woman With Menstrual Pad

How Long Postpartum Bleeding Will Last

Are you wondering, how long postpartum bleeding will last after birth? It is not the same for everyone, and it is difficult to predict what makes someone's bleeding course longer than someone else's.A systematic review of studies showed that on average postpartum bleeding lasts 24 to 36 days after delivery. Another study showed that on average, women will bleed for about 33 days (or just over 1 month) postpartum. The shortest duration reported for postpartum bleeding is about 17 days after birth.Another name for postpartum bleeding is lochia. About 13% of people will have lochia for up to 2 months, or day 60. It is rare to have postpartum bleeding last beyond 90 days. If you have bleeding past this point, it could be your menstrual period returning. Keep your Ob Gyn informed of how long your postpartum bleeding lasts. Postpartum bleeding is heaviest in the first 2 to 3 weeks and then starts to taper off. Some patients may experience a periodic spike in their bleeding during the tapering down. The first 3 to 4 days postpartum the blood will be a bright red or brown color. After 4 to 6 days the postpartum bleeding color will start to look more pink. The postpartum bleeding chart below provides a description of what you can expect:Postpartum Bleeding Chart How Long Do Postpartum Bleeding LastIf breastfeeding, you may see a spike in lochia while you are breastfeeding. This is because breastfeeding and nipple stimulation cause the uterus to contract. This contraction can cause a gush a blood through the vaginal canal. There is nothing you can do to stop postpartum bleeding from resolving faster. It must run its course. It is a normal part of the postpartum period. Breastfeeding will help the uterus to contract back closer to its original shape, but it does not have a large impact on how long postpartum lasts. When it comes to postpartum bleeding, it is important to know what is normal and what is not. Postpartum hemorrhage, which is excessive bleeding after birth, is not normal and needs emergent medical attention. If you are soaking through more than 2 pads an hour for more than 1 to 2 hours, you need to seek urgent medical help. Although in most cases postpartum hemorrhage happens within 24 hours of delivering a baby, there are cases where it has happened almost 3 months later. This heavy bleeding is usually a result of something called uterine atony. Atony means lacking tone. After you have a baby, your uterine muscles need to contract to help the uterus regain its normal shape and structure. In most pregnancies this happens as a natural course of postpartum. Breastfeeding and pumping breast milk can help the uterus to contract. In a situation of uterine atony, the uterus does not contract as it normally should. The blood vessels that are inside the uterus can then bleed as a result of this. If a patient has retained placenta after their delivery they are also at a higher risk for postpartum bleeding. In addition to having blood soaked pads, patients may also pass large blood clots (size of golf ball or larger), have low blood pressure, feel confused or dizzy, have a high heart rate (tachycardia), and even swelling or discomfort in their genital area. Head to an emergency room immediately if you think you are having a postpartum hemorrhage. Sources:Fletcher S, Grotegut CA, James AH. Lochia patterns among normal women: a systematic review. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Dec;21(12):1290-4. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.3668. Epub 2012 Oct 26. PMID: 23101487.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23101487/Oppenheimer LW, Sherriff EA, Goodman JD, Shah D, James CE. The duration of lochia. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1986 Jul;93(7):754-7. PMID: 3755355.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3755355/Visness CM, Kennedy KI, Ramos R. The duration and character of postpartum bleeding among breast-feeding women. Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Feb;89(2):159-63. doi: 10.1016/S0029-7844(96)00482-6. PMID: 9015013.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9015013/Sherman D, Lurie S, Frenkel E, Kurzweil Y, Bukovsky I, Arieli S. Characteristics of normal lochia. Am J Perinatol. 1999;16(8):399-402. doi: 10.1055/s-1999-6818. PMID: 10772198.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10772198/
4 min read
Tips To Breastfeed Successfully Woman Breastfeeding Child

4 Tips To Breastfeed Like A Pro

Breastfeeding is very physically and emotionally challenging. In order to make the journey as smooth as possible, you should be prepared. There is so much noise out there, so we compiled the top doctor recommended items that will help you on your breastfeeding journey. Be sure to get these ahead of time so that you are well prepared once you are home from the hospital. Always talk with your doctor before trying any dietary supplements or other products when pregnant or breastfeeding.1) Sunflower LecithinIf you have a blocked or clogged milk duct, you will want sunflower lecithin on hand quickly! It is easiest to purchase online and many people even take it regularly while breastfeeding. It is most helpful in the case of a clogged milk duct. Blocked ducts happen when milk flow in the breast is interrupted or slowed down. This can happen if your baby is not latched well or if you are not feeding or pumping at regular intervals. Taking 1200 mg of sunflower lecithin 2 to 3 times daily when have a clogged milk duct may help it get better. They can be incredibly painful so this is not something you want to be scrambling last minute to buy. The evidence to support its use is limited, but the product is generally regarded as safe during breastfeeding. The theory is that is decreases the viscosity or stickiness of breast milk allowing it to flow better through the ducts. 2) Spare Pump PartsYou likely already have a breast pump and the pump parts that come with it. In the early days of breastfeeding, washing pump parts can be exhausting. You will want a spare set on hand so that you don't have to be washing and sterilizing your pump parts around the clock. Additionally, if one of your pump parts breaks, it is a good idea to have a spare so that you don't end up with an engorged and painful breast. 3) A Heating PadA heating pad is absolutely essential when breastfeeding. Not only does it help you get milk flowing by relaxing you, it can also be critical if you have a clogged duct. A heating pad with a large surface area is preferable so that you can heat both breasts at the same time. 4) A Manual Breast PumpA manual breast pump is an absolute must. It is a great tool to have while you are out and about and happen to get engorged. It is also very useful to use while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding on the right side you will likely have some leakage on the left side. Using the manual pump can help you to avoid wasting precious breast milk. 5) Understand Breastfeeding Having a basic understanding of how to breastfeed ahead of time is important. Once you have your baby, life is likely going to be overwhelming. If you can prepare ahead of time by understanding how to latch, positioning, and how to use your pump, you will have an easier time once the baby arrives. If you need more help, download Femhealth's guide: Breastfeeding Basics In 10 Minutes.
3 min read
Painful Breast From Breastfeeding Woman Breastfeeding Baby

Painful Breast From Breastfeeding

A painful breast from breastfeeding is a problem that many people face. There are a few different causes for this and each cause of breastfeeding pain has a different treatment.A clogged duct from breastfeeding can cause breast pain.  A clogged milk duct can feel like a small bump on the breast. It is usually tender to touch. Clogged ducts happen when milk gets backed up in the milk ducts of the breast. This can happen if you are not pumping or breastfeeding frequently enough. It can also happen if you are breastfeeding so frequently that you develop an oversupply. Additionally, if your baby has a poor latch or can't empty the breast, the milk ducts can become clogged. Sometimes a bra that is too tight can also cause a clogged duct. Be prepared to treat a clogged milk duct:Buy a large heating pad that can drape over both breasts. Using a heating pad and massage may help to loosen the clog. A warm shower can also be very helpful. Massage the breast with the clog as you let warm water run over the breast. You should attempt to empty the breast in the area of the clog by breastfeeding more frequently. Having a bottle of sunflower lecithin readily available can also help. Taking 1200 mg 2 to 3 times a day may help, but be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Continue breastfeeding or pumping. In order to treat the clogged milk duct you must keep milk flowing out of the breast. Because a clogged duct can eventually cause mastititis, it is important to seek professional medical help if your clogged duct is not better in 12 to 24 hours. If you develop a fever or redness over the area, this is also a sign to get professional help. Mastitis usually happens from a clogged milk duct. It is a serious infection that needs treatment with antibiotics. The breast can be painful, red, and even swollen. Patients with mastitis also have flu-like symptoms and can have a fever, fatigue, and a headache. If you think you have mastitis contact a doctor right away. Some of the antibiotics used to treat mastitis include cephalexin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, dicloxacillin, and clindamycin. Your doctor will determine the right mastitis antibiotic for you. Many people experience nipple pain from breastfeeding. In theory, breastfeeding should not be painful. However, there are certain situations in which nipple pain from breastfeeding is more likely to happen. A poor latch can cause nipple pain from breastfeeding. The latch in breastfeeding should be deep. This means that your baby should take in as much breast tissue into their mouth as possible. If the baby is only sucking on the nipple, this is will be very painful. As your baby grows older and starts teething, they may use your breast tissue as a teether. This is also very painful and you will need to unlatch your baby if they start to do this. Help to heal nipple cracks by using nipple cream or even applying some breast milk to the nipple before and after feeds. If your nipple pain is extreme, consider using the breast pump at a low setting until your nipple has had a chance to heal. Sadly, it is not uncommon to have a painful breast from breastfeeding. You can be prepared to handle this by having the right things at home to combat the pain quickly. Unfortunately, breasts can be come painful in just a few short hours, so you don't want to wait until the last minute to have what you need at home. Remember that if the pain lasts longer than 12 hours or is accompanied by a fever, you should call your doctor immediately. There are certain infections like mastitis that need treatment with an antibiotic. Sources:Pevzner M, Dahan A. Mastitis While Breastfeeding: Prevention, the Importance of Proper Treatment, and Potential Complications. J Clin Med. 2020 Jul 22;9(8):2328. doi: 10.3390/jcm9082328. PMID: 32707832; PMCID: PMC7465810.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465810/Kataria K, Srivastava A, Dhar A. Management of lactational mastitis and breast abscesses: review of current knowledge and practice. Indian J Surg. 2013 Dec;75(6):430-5. doi: 10.1007/s12262-012-0776-1. Epub 2012 Dec 12. PMID: 24465097; PMCID: PMC3900741.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3900741/pdf/12262_2012_Article_776.pdf
4 min read
Breastfeeding As Birth Control

Breastfeeding For Birth Control

Using breastfeeding as birth control can be done but there is still a possibility that you can become pregnant. Even if done perfect, there is a 2% chance you can become pregnant. There are very strict guidelines to follow if you hope to use breastfeeding for birth control. Doctors refer to the breastfeeding birth control method as lactational amenorrhea or LAM. Using breastfeeding for birth control is called the lactational amenorrhea method. The word lactational refers to breastfeeding and the word amenorrhea means not having a menstrual period. It is a method of birth control that may work for some but it is not as effective as other methods of birth control. The benefit of LAM is that it is natural. However, the downside is that unless followed very strictly, it has varying reliability. Many people have gotten pregnant unintentionally by using breastfeeding for birth control. Getting pregnant within a year of giving birth can be dangerous for many mothers. In order to use breastfeeding for birth control, your baby has to be under 6 months old. Right after you deliver you are unlikely to ovulate in the first few months. The further you get from the baby's day of birth the more likely it is that your body will ovulate or release an egg. Once an egg is released and you are sexually active, there is a chance you can become pregnant. It is important to note that the egg is released from the ovary about 10 to 14 days before your period. This means that you will ovulate once before your period returns. It is during this ovulation that women become pregnant unexpectedly. They don't realize that their period has returned until 2 weeks later. If they had unprotected sex during this time, they could become pregnant. Breastfeeding For Birth ControlIf you would like to use the lactational amenorrhea method there are a few things you should know:Getting pregnant too quickly after you have given birth is not recommended. Most gynecologists recommend waiting at least 12 to 18 months after giving birth before getting pregnant again. It is not safe for your health or the health of the pregnancy. While breastfeeding will delay ovulation for a few months, it is impossible to know how long that amount of time will be. Only use breastfeeding as birth control if you are able to breastfeed exclusively, your period has not returned, and your baby is under 6 months old. If you follow this perfectly, there is still a 2% chance you could become pregnant. Using barrier contraception or progestin only birth control can also be an option for breastfeeding moms who want to protect against unwanted pregnancy. Sources:Finger WR. Research confirms LAM's effectiveness. Contraceptive update. Netw Res Triangle Park N C. 1996 Fall;17(1):12-14, 24. PMID: 12320442.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12320442/https://myhealth.alberta.ca/sexual-reproductive-health/birth-control/natural-methods/lactation-amenorrheaVekemans M. Postpartum contraception: the lactational amenorrhea method. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 1997 Jun;2(2):105-11. doi: 10.3109/13625189709167463. PMID: 9678098. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9678098/https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/mmwr/mec/appendixg.html
4 min read
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