My Experience with PFD
Updated: Feb 14
By Jen DeVane-Mulhern
Working with pregnant Pilates clients was my first experience teaching Pilates and realizing the benefits it has on pelvic health. It wasn't until I was expecting that it all really hit home.
Here's me exactly one week before my son was born in 2018.
I learned that my DR was severe…this was shocking to me, as I had avoided crunches and sit-ups, which I knew could make it worse. I had also focused on core work and breathing. It just wasn't enough.
Over the past few years I've become more and more interested in Pilates for the purpose of improving the pelvic floor (aka kegel muscles). As, I said, it really hit home while I was pregnant, the need for that mind-body connection and focus on balance. I also realized how little I knew about pregnancy and then the postpartum body, which made me also realize that probably meant many other women knew even less. Dealing with my own Pelvic Floor Dsyfunction has led me to helping other women get the help they need to
Diastasis Recti and my journey to better understanding Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
I discovered for myself that I had diastasis recti from my pregnancy. (aka poochy post-pregnancy belly. And, yup, DR is considered part of the pelvic floor dysfunction family...a cousin, of sorts.)
My OB did not check me. I checked myself and did what I knew to do (and what to avoid) for DR.
After over a year of trying to do all the work on my own, I finally made myself a priority and saw a pelvic floor specialist (a specialized physical therapist). It was the best decision I could've made, and I only wish I had done it sooner. I learned that my DR was severe…this was shocking to me, as I had avoided crunches and sit-ups, which I knew could make it worse. I had also focused on core work and breathing. It just wasn't enough.
With the help of my pelvic floor specialist, I learned that I needed to continue wearing my belly band, as well as KT (therapy) tape (looks like a bunch of big band-aids). I also was given breathing exercises with reps up to 200 breaths and a LONG list of restrictions. After just over a month I saw HUGE results!
Not everyone's pelvic floor dysfunction story is the same. So, my first bit of advice is to seek out the help of a pelvic floor specialist, if you haven't already done so. As one of my Pilates clients says, "so you can find out your grade on your report card."
Feel free to share your stories and things you've learned along the way related to the pelvic floor. Can't wait to hear from you!