Which kind of sounds like the perfect superhero duo!
I quite breezily say my classes both pregnancy and postnatal work on getting a mobile pelvis, I also talk about a neutral pelvis and a tilted pelvis and sometimes mention a stable pelvis.
The pelvis features a lot in my work (and I have just spent a frantic few minutes looking for my model pelvis as I have thought of a great photo to go with this blog – it’s fine I’ve found it)
So where should your pelvis be and how should it be? I thought I’d write a quick blog to clarify.
Mobility and stability go hand in hand when it comes to the pelvis (another superhero duo maybe? – enough with the superheroes now)
All parts of your body should be able to move independently of each other , for example you should be able to move your leg or your torso without your pelvis coming along for the ride. However, because our bodies are great at compensating for weaknesses and for adapting to how much or how little we move it often doesn’t happen and our body tends to move as one whole rather than individual bits.
In order to be able to stay still the muscles around your pelvis need to be strong enough to hold the pelvis stable (in a neutral position – you can see a video on that here). Stable means your pelvis doesn’t tip forwards or back or over to one side or one side of it lifts up higher than the other.
Why is this important?
A neutral pelvis in a stable position means your pelvic floor is strong enough to hold your organs in (and your baby if you are pregnant) but supple enough to support them as you move (and to be able to let your baby out when it is born without being damaged) damage happens (and by damage I mean sneeze pee, pelvic pain, incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse) because your pelvic floor was too tight and unable to yield as it needed to.
A pelvis that is tipped forwards or back or that is higher on one side than the other will create a tight pelvic floor and a tight pelvic floor is actually a weak pelvic floor – which is why kegels don’t feature in my classes – as you could just be tightening an all ready overtight set of muscles.
An overtight pelvic floor can also hinder birth – by not being able to relax and yield it can create a longer and slower labour as well as potential damage.
Instead my classes look at getting the pelvis in the correct alignment so the pelvic floor is in a functioning state able to be strong and also yielding. Alignment can’t be forced though – trying to bring your pelvis into neutral without addressing any tight or weak areas will only cause even more issues – strained back, pressure in the abdomen leading to ‘mamma pooch’ (or diastasis recti to give it it’s formal name – this is where the abdominal muscles are not able to come back together properly after birth), pelvic pain, hip and knee pain.
My programme is designed to teach you to know and understand your body, to know which exercises are best for your body and how to do them properly to avoid damage but instead regain strength, length and flexibility to allow your pelvis to sit in neutral and to protect your core and pelvic floor. I also teach you how to make lifestyle changes (just simple ones) that means you will be working to prepare for birth while you get on with your life.
p.s If you were wondering what belly dancing had to do with it – I taught Dancing for Birth classes for a while and belly dancing is the perfect way for getting more mobility to your pelvis – in fact it is one of the things it was designed for. It is a beautiful way to celebrate your pregnancy while preparing for your birth and I do incorporate some belly dancing moves into my classes but in quite a subtle way – unless you fancy a bit of a dance and then we can get the jangly scarves on and have a bit of a shimmy!
Rosie Dhoopun is a Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist, Pilates Teacher, Movement Teacher, Massage Therapist, Antenatal Teacher, Pregnancy Coach, Baby and Toddler Massage and Yoga Teacher.
She runs Pregnancy Exercise classes and Restorative Post-natal Exercise Classes in Woodbridge and Ipswich Suffolk