After the birth of your baby your pelvic floor and core stability tummy muscles may not be working correctly. The gap in the tummy muscle may not have closed fully. Your posture and centre of gravity may still be altered. The Mummy MOT can identify these risks, assess your posture, tummy muscle gap and pelvic floor muscle strength and advise on pelvic floor safe exercises to allow normal function and prevent problems in the future.
What is a tummy gap?
A tummy gap occurs naturally in all women during pregnancy. Called rectus abdominis, it’s when your ‘abs’ or ‘six pack’ muscles naturally relax apart to allow your bump to grow and give your baby room in the womb. The issue is not that it happens during the pregnancy, it’s what happens after the birth – did these muscles snap back into place or have they still not joined back up – a third of all mums have a tummy gap even 8 weeks after birth.
Who is at risk?
Women more at risk of having a tummy gap are those who had twins, bigger babies or have stretch marks, although it can happen to anyone. One in three women have a tummy gap greater than two fingers wide.
Why does it matter?
When you have a tummy gap it’s harder to regain core stability in the abdomen and pelvic area and this means you’re at greater risk of developing back pain, prolapse and urinary incontinence. If the gap is very big it can also affect breathing, bowel movements and cause other abdominal problems as well as affecting your general posture.
Do you have a tummy gap?
Many mums are unaware they still have a tummy gap and go back to boot camp, pilates and cycling but this can make the gap worse and make your tummy bulge. To find out if you have a tummy gap try our self check assessment by following the easy steps below.
How to Self-Check
Two weeks after the birth of your baby, lie flat and bend your knees up as if about to do a sit up. Place your fingers gently just above your tummy button and then lift your head and shoulders slightly as if starting a sit up but rest there. Check how many fingers you can fit in the gap between the muscles. Repeat the check each week and by 8 weeks the finger gap should be no more than 2 fingers wide. Until this point no abdominal exercise like crunchs/planks etc should be undertaken. Pelvic Floor exercises and deep tummy ‘core’ work can be started.
Over one third – 36% – of all women still have a tummy gap greater than 2 fingers eight weeks after giving birth. Of that third of women who still have a tummy gap, two thirds of those – 66% – will develop a pelvic related health issue.
The Mummy MOT is a postnatal detailed physiotherapy assessment of the abdominal and pelvic area. It will check your posture, breathing, tummy gap and pelvic floor strength. You will receive a report of the findings on the day. Following the assessment an appropriate safe exercise programme will be prescribed. Click here to read more about the mummy MOT specialist physiotherapy programme.
Follow this link to complete the online pre-screen questionnaire.
To read about feedback from the Mummy Mot and why you may need one look here.
Check out my blog post for staying fit for bump, baby and beyond for more information.
Contact me to get your gap checked.
Some recent feedback on the mummy MOT:
The new Mummy MOT is so helpful and I highly recommend it. Bally is so professional and does a great job of making the experience informative and reassuring. It gave me the confidence to do exercise again, to be reassured that my body was well on the way to recovery and I she gave me practical exercises to do at home.
The Mummy MOT with Bally has without a doubt been the most significant and helpful post-natal care I’ve ever received. I had my third child 3 months ago and it was good to get a thorough check and assessment of my body and the impact of labour on my pelvic floor and tummy. What’s more to actually understand how the pelvic floor should be contracted and released and basically training me in it there and then was so valuable! I have genuinely and conscientiously been doing my exercises and feel so much better for it. Thanks Bally
I had an appointment with Bally about 6 months after my birth, which was long and traumatic and I was still not feeling ‘fixed’. I left Bally feeling much more informed about my health and how I could improve it.
Bally was very professional, would highly recommend the Mummy MOT to any mums with any post-pregnancy concerns.
Visited for mummy MOT and back problems. Very knowledgeable and the exercises and accupuncture worked!
I saw Bally for a mum mot and I’m so glad I did! I’d been thinking about it for a while, but with two small children, I hadn’t got around to organising an appointment. I learnt so much in the first appointment and was really impressed to discover that my strength had improved a lot in just three weeks between appointments. I now know that women shouldn’t accept a weak pelvic floor as an inevitable part of having babies, and that it can be so easily fixed! I thoroughly recommend Bally for the mum mot.
Glad I finally found someone who can check over the post natal body. The GPs checks are very poor and women need to have their body looked at after carrying and delivering a child. Bally is so professional and knowledgable and I’m very glad to have found her.