Each woman comes into pregnancy and leaves childbirth with her own unique experiences and problems. Therefore, each woman's recovery after delivery would benefit from a provider who can evaluate her specific needs and address her unique concerns.
Too often, common concerns such as occasional leaking urine, persisting pelvic pain, prolapse and abdominal weakness are met with limited options. An OB/GYN may offer surgery but may recommend against it if future pregnancies are desired or the mother is too young. Kegels or pelvic floor exercises may be recommended but with little more than a handout as a guide. Many women tell me they already do kegels or that they've even seen a traditional pelvic floor therapist but feel discouraged because it didn't help. Less-helpful practitioners leave their patients hanging with phrases such as "That's just a part of childbirth," or "Compared to other women, you're doing pretty well." Assuring that postpartum care is tailored to the individual should be the focus of all women's healthcare providers.
Why don't we have greater individualized support for postpartum mothers? I believe most providers want to help with these postpartum concerns but haven't had the right tools to properly evaluate these complaints in order to make specific recommendations for postpartum care.
In September 2016, I'm launching the first online training program for medical providers on Core Ultrasound at www.ultrasoundcore.com. Based on research from rehabilitation and women's health experts such as Paul W. Hodges, Diane Lee and Jackie Whittaker, these ultrasound exams are designed to evaluate and assist women in restoring their core function more effectively than any other method. Plus, this training is open to medical providers from many disciplines. When primary care providers, obstetricians, physical therapists and other specialists work together to identify and treat core dysfunction, women benefit through improved collaboration and better customized care.
Core Ultrasound exams use real-time ultrasound to not only examine the parts of the core system, but to show each patient how her muscles are working when she moves. Core Dysfunction involves either a disruption or in-coordination of the muscles in the core system --and ultrasound is the only imaging modality that looks at both.
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These exams are designed to optimize comfort for both the patient and the provider by using transabdominal imaging (through the belly). We made our exams this way because we heard too many providers saying "I don't do pelvic floor exams." We know that the pelvic floor is an integral part of the core system and is essential for proper recovery. There's also a number of women who would avoid having a traditional pelvic floor evaluation and we wanted to assure them the opportunity to have a comfortable assessment. Core Ultrasound providers use a transabdominal ultrasound exam of the pelvic floor and other core muscles and are able to recognize when a referral to a pelvic floor therapist would be beneficial.
Our experience working with postpartum mothers confirms what I've found in the research --that about 30% of women will recover their core system on their own after delivery. We can increase this number to about 50% of women by giving them instruction on correct exercises, sequence and using guided imagery like we utilize in the online Mommy Ready Postpartum Program. Still, providing exercise bio-feedback by a certified Core System Specialist, through Core Ultrasound, will increase the restoration of core function to 80-90% of postpartum mothers!
For most women, the answer to their persisting postpartum problems (and prevention of these problems) is doing the right exercises, in the right way. The key to helping each woman recover her core function fully after childbirth is by showing her how to do her exercises correctly. This can be done with ultrasound imaging. Want to know if you are doing your Kegels correctly? With Core Ultrasound, we can show you!
Core Ultrasound and the Mommy Ready Postpartum Program go hand in hand. I want to see 90% of women getting better after childbirth, not just half. My challenge is to get Core Ultrasound training to more medical providers. If you are as excited about Core Ultrasound as I am, here's how you can help.
Talk to your medical provider - Send them this article, refer them to our medical provider page, or directly to www.ultrasoundcore.com.
Talk to your friends - Share this article with them! The more women we have asking for this service the more providers will want to offer it.
Become a Mommy Ready Member - If you are having a baby soon, experiencing symptoms of core dysfunction or know someone who could use our programs - JOIN US! Let us help you get the individualized care you need and deserve!
Our goal at Mommy Ready is to support all women in motherhood to achieve active confidence. Whether through our programs alone or through finding a provider who can address your specific needs - we are here to support you! We look forward to sharing what we know, to help other medical providers use Core Ultrasound as a tool to customize and improve postpartum care for you.
Thank you for your support!