I have recently started offering Mummy MOT’s at Complete Pilates and I have had a few questions about what they are and who should have them. Here’s a rundown of the five I get asked the most and what my answers are...
What exactly is a Mummy MOT?
A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal examination for women following both vaginal and caesarean deliveries. It will assess how your posture, pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles are recovering after birth. And if they’re not, then we can provide you with exercises and treatment to help in your recovery and to return to exercise safely.
How many weeks after giving birth should you have a Mummy MOT?
Anytime from 6 weeks post natally or whenever you feel ready. There’s no cut off limit, I’ve recently done one on a mum with a 10yr old child!
How is the assessment done?
I start with a lot of questions asking about your body before you were pregnant (if you can even remember those days) through to pregnancy, labour and birth. This gives us lots of information even before I even look at you!
I will then do a posture assessment (how does your body now look in standing/ muscle imbalances/alignment) followed by more functional movements, standing on one leg, squat, bending. This allows me to see how your body responds to weight transferring onto one leg and functional movement.
You will then lie on a couch (as in a clinical one rather than in front of the tv) where I will assess your abdominals. I’m looking to see if there is a tummy gap, your breathing pattern, and your deep abdominal strength (they will still be there somewhere I promise).
Then it’s the bit that I think everyone is most apprehensive about, the pelvic floor check. Yes this will involve an internal assessment but have no fear, I don’t want to cause you any pain and at any point you can tell me to stop.
Why do we do a pelvic floor assessment? I guess my analogy is if you had injured your foot, there is only so much I can assess with your sock on!
The vagina and pelvic floor is wonderfully intricate (I mean we all know that) and if you have been through pregnancy, labour and especially if you have had a vaginal delivery (let alone tears and episiotomies) it has undergone a lot of trauma and no wonder there can be problems such as leaking, prolapses, bladder and sexual problems. Mums put up with a lot for years and years without complaining thinking it’s ‘normal’ and in most cases we can help!
Where do you do the MOTs (is it in a private room)?
It’s absolutely private of course. We use the physio room at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club, Didsbury. In an ideal world mums turn up without their baby but I appreciate that this is real life so we can make it work if there’s no other way.
What does it cost?
£65 for a 1 hr assessment and you even get a written report at the end of it!
I would thoroughly recommend a Mummy MOT to all mums, your body has been through a lot...A LOT...and it is a great way to understand how it has changed, how it may change in future and how you can work with your body to help it recover strength in a sensible way.