Must-know truths & myths for training postpartum clients

I recently touched upon common myths about coaching pregnant women. Today I’m addressing some myths about training postnatal women so you can do so confidently.

Myth #1: It’s normal for postpartum women to pee when they laugh, cough, sneeze, jump, or run.

Those are common occurrences, but they aren’t normal. They are symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. You can help clients with these issues by incorporating myofascial release techniques, normal gentle breathing, and rehabilitative exercises. If this feels overwhelming, don’t worry! My courses include a huge digital library of exercises to make program design easy and effective.

Myth #2: Breastfeeding moms will lose their supply if they exercise.

Physical activity doesn’t cause a drop in milk supply, but poor hydration and a calorie restricted diet can. Encourage nursing clients to eat nourishing, whole foods and drink half their body weight in ounces. For example, a 140 pound woman should drink 70 ounces of water daily.

Myth #3: Postpartum women shouldn’t do ab exercises like crunches, planks, and bicycles.

Ab exercises like planks and crunches aren’t off limits, but client programs should be designed with intention. To achieve the greatest success, it is important to know if your clients have any injuries. About 60% of new moms experience an injury called Diastasis Recti and may not even know it. (Here’s how you can check clients for it.) If your postnatal client has an abdominal separation, you’ll want to focus on specific exercises. Some good ones are pelvic stabilization, flexion of the torso, and an abdominal roll down series. Incorporate therabands and try a modified single leg stretch or quadruped-stabilization exercise.