Working with post-natal women, in fact women in general it is absolutely paramount for me to be ensuring that every single move that they make is going to help and not hinder (or worse, be detrimental to) the integrity and function of their deepest core muscles and pelvic floor.
Every time we put pressure through our body, whether that comes from formal exercise (lifting weights, even just our body weight, jumping and moving) or in daily activity (bags, babies, toddlers, 6 bottle prosecco holders), we need to be protecting our core ESPECIALLY if our core is recovering from pregnancy and childbirth (6 weeks, months, years even after the event!)
In short, if you are holding your breath, or bearing down (and sometimes this can come involuntarily through dodgy breathing patterns) in any of these activities, pressure is being created which isn’t a great thing for the soft tissues of your tummy (especially if you have a diastasis) and pelvic floor (hence the sometimes leaky run, star jump, laugh, sneeze etc).
Jenny Burrell has created a neat little moving image to show how your breathing is linked to movement in your core. Take a look below. As you inhale, there is a depression in the diaphragm and pelvic floor and the tummy relaxes. Exhale and the system lifts and pressure decreases….