The core, which includes the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, holds great interest for many birthing people, but frequently not until *after* the birth, many times even years after birth. Many times this interest is sparked by dysfunction in the core, maybe in the form of a diastasis rectii or pelvic floor weakness marked by incontinence, low back pain, and sexual dysfunction. However, core function should be a main topic for all pregnant people. The core muscles are vital to stabilizing and supporting the body and key to laboring and pushing a baby out. Even before pregnancy, the dominant lifestyle choices we see today tend to leave the core somewhat weakened, a situation that is exacerbated by the body changes in pregnancy. The only attention most people give to the core is "do your kegels". However, many people do not need to do kegels and most people are doing them wrong anyway.
This course is designed for anyone who works with families during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, particularly doulas and educators. You will learn everything that your clients and students need to know about core function, how to get it strong for pregnancy, how to use it effectively in birth, and how to recover properly so they can restore their core for parenthood.
You will learn more about diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominal muscles that affects ALL pregnant persons, and how they can keep strength in the core as well as how to best support the recovery process.. You will also learn about the pelvic floor and how to advise your clients about keeping it functioning optimally throughout pregnancy, how they can train it to respond appropriately in birth and what they should postpartum to ensure they can get back to the activities they desire without lingering back pain and incontinence. We will also get into how to guide your clients through their recovery, which really starts while they are still pregnant. Recovery is often overlooked, as is the need to retrain the core. All of this information is shared with in the scope of practice of doulas and educators.
The practical skills that will be shared are how to use specific movements to prepare the core for birth and faster recovery, how support and stabilization of the core after birth can affect recovery, and how nutrition affects recovery.
This course was created and written by a team of pelvic floor physical therapists, personal trainers, and doulas.