Why is Abdominal Support So Important For Women?
My job as a Women’s Health Physio often times surrounds treating and managing a woman’s back, pelvis, and abdominal’s. Why?… because you need all of them to function normally to feel strong and limit any risk of pain or dysfunction. After having a baby, depending on your mode of delivery (Cesarean or vaginal) your abdominal wall and pelvic floor may be weaker than any other muscles in your body, mostly because the pregnancy itself stretches your abdominal wall and linea abla (the piece of tissue that joins your abs together!) and delivering the baby makes your pelvic floor slightly weaker to very weak in some cases. This comes down to mode of delivery, size of your baby, how long did you push for, and possibly genetics. Your body is excellent in doing the best job it can over the first 6 weeks to 12 months to heal your body, we call this natural healing.
As a Women’s health physio I am always aware that this natural process should not be hindered especially in the first 6 weeks. Immediately after having a baby, nearly 50% of women will have an abdominal wall separation more than 2 cm - take home message is don’t worry just yet!…. as your body over 6 weeks will stiffen your tissue and along side natural healing, only a very small percentage of women will have a dysfunctional abdominal wall separation at 6 weeks when I review them in my clinic.
Where do my Pinky Bloomers leggings and briefs come in? If you support your abdominal wall and linea alba for the first 6 weeks and beyond, you may help your body to do it’s job and heal! However, we also give additional advice such as lifting guidelines, exercise limitations, and bed mobility to protect a woman’s pelvic floor and abdominal wall. As for your pelvic floor after delivery, the best evidence we have from research is to start a supervised pelvic floor program for at least 12 weeks, that is the most effective way to mange your pelvic floor and bladder.
If you are many years after having your baby or post menopausal and wondering if you need abdominal wall support day to day and when exercising…good question. I always recommend great active wear for back and tummy when exercising to help with proprioceptive input (big word for better muscle activation) and for postural control and awareness. The same goes or a great active wear bras or tops to help support your bust and postural control when exercising.
Our leggings are designed to help support your body in the healing process. They are also an anti-bacterial material and very breathable. The leggings are designed for any woman wanting to exercise and feel supported with quality material and a high waist.
I love these garments and my years of experience tell me that a great firm quality garment and great advice form a Physio will be your best pathway to feeling yourself.
But if you're still worried about your hips, tummy, pelvis, or abdominals - then you should get proper advice from an experienced physiotherapist. I have more info available on my physiotherapy website.
Melissa Harris ( APA Titled Women’s Health Physio MACP)