Working on pelvic floor disorders is not just about alignment and movement, there are some other elements that you can be working on that will be of great benefit.
From an energy point of view those with pelvic organ prolapse or pelvic organ weakness in general tend to have a cold belly. So looking at how to warm this area will not only help with healing but feel emotionally comforting as well.
Much of postpartum care is about warming – my training in postpartum care gave me the title Mother Roaster! One that always makes me smile. Once your baby has been born healing is about warming and closing this area so warm foods and drinks, keeping the area warm with belly wraps, closing the bones treatment which is about massaging, rocking and wrapping, a full postpartum treatment can also include warm baths and vaginal steams.
We tend not to have any kind of postpartum care in this country at all which is such a shame. But a lot of the ideas above are really useful for helping with healing and creating some self-care around pelvic floor weakness and diastasis recti.
Food and drink
Food and drink wise anything that is warming such as soups, porridges (made with oats or jasmine rice) and stews are wonderful, particularly if flavoured with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, rosemary, garlic, caraway and walnut. Chai tea is particularly warming and comforting. A book I really recommend is The First 40 Days, I used the recipes from here myself in my postpartum after my third baby and often use some of them still during my bleeding times or if I am need of comfort.
Taking time out of life to be able to express and process emotions. This doesn’t have to be meditation but could include, art, dancing, journal writing. Emotions stored in the body can impact on body issues so much and finding what helps you to release and process these will be of huge benefit to you.
A lovely self-massage will help you to connect to your body as well as warming the area. It can be so easy to get into negative feelings about an area of your body that needs healing. The best thing you can do is to connect to this area, give it some love and be at peace with it. I love using the essential oil of rose, 6 drops in a tablespoon of olive oil. Take time to slowly massage your whole stomach area from ribs to pubic bone and all round the back as well if it feels good. Rose essential oil is wonderful for helping prolapse or easing feelings of tension, sadness or depression, particularly post-partum depression.
Haramaki belly warmer
This is something I discovered a couple of years ago. A tube of material that is worn around the waist and covers from ribs down over your bum. Great for keeping that area warm, easing back aches, period pain and the warmth really helps you to release tension in your abdomen – essential for helping to help with healing diastasis recti and pelvic floor weakness. It is easier than using a scarf for wrapping as it fits under your clothes much more easily.
Personally I think these are great as part of treatments, not something I would recommend every day for example but the warming and comforting you get from this treatment can help all sorts of issues. It helps with increasing the circulation to this area.
An easy way to do this is to find a bowl that fits just inside your toilet. Use herbs (never use essential oils) traditional herbs that are used are Oregano, basil, marigold, rosemary, chamomile, plantain, yarrow, lavender, sage and rose. Have a stool so you can sit in a supported squat and make sure you are well wrapped up so socks on and a big comfy dressing gown.
Put the bowl in the loo with the herbs, pour in the boiling water and sit on the toilet, feet up. If you can spend time listening to some nice music or a relaxation or meditation script that is perfect, often times traditionally you would also be given a shoulder and head massage during the treatment.
Stay here for 10 to 15 minutes and afterwards make sure you have time to lay down and rest in a safe space.
Making these treatments a priority as well as alignment exercises and changing movement habits will help ease your symptoms and create a beautiful environment for healing.
Rosie Dhoopun is a Alignment and Movement Teacher, Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist, Massage Therapist, Antenatal Teacher, Postpartum Nurturer, Pregnancy Coach, Baby and Toddler Massage and Yoga Teacher.
She runs Alignment and Movement classes including pregnancy and postnatal and pelvic floor restore programmes in Ipswich Suffolk