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Kacey's Pre and Post Natal Journey

As a Pilates instructor and a regular mover, when I fell pregnant, I knew that I wanted to stay active and strong throughout my pregnancy. Fortunately, I discovered Featherstone around this time and was so lucky to have been supported by the entire team in all areas of the studio throughout my pregnancy journey, and now postnatally too.

Although I was fairly confident in what was appropriate for me to do and continue doing exercise wise in my pregnancy, I knew an assessment with one of the Pelvic Health trained Physios was the right thing to do. This was to ensure my current activity level would be appropriate and to have my pelvic floor strength and activation assessed. This was key in setting me up for my entire pregnancy as I knew what pelvic floor exercises were appropriate after a real-time ultrasound to check if I was effectively activating and relaxing my pelvic floor (I also got a bonus glimpse of bub during this too!).

I continued to attend regular Pilates and Strength (Circuit) classes 3 – 5 times per week at Featherstone throughout my pregnancy with confidence knowing that not only were the knowledgeable Physios and instructors taking the class giving me appropriate modifications but also that they were able to adapt specifically for me according to my assessment with the Pelvic Health Physios. This was so important for me as I was still teaching classes myself right up until the third trimester so it was essential my body stayed strong and balanced.

I had previously always attended fitness-focused group classes so a key takeaway from attending the technical and supportive classes at Featherstone was the importance of not only building and maintaining strength in my body, but also providing space and length as my body changed and grew to accommodate that little human growing inside me. I will never forget Sarah’s (Physio) comment that my posture had actually improved throughout my pregnancy! I was so grateful for their help in feeling strong and mobile right up until the day I gave birth and it was reassuring knowing that if something in my body wasn’t feeling quite right, I could pop in for a quick assessment with a Physio to get me back on track.

As my Summer due date loomed I started to get quite impatient and a little uncomfortable as the days were hot and my belly was growing rapidly. This is when I booked in for some acupuncture to begin to get my body ready and to help relieve tension and anxiety as the day got closer. If only the amazing Elena (remedial masseuse) was available at this time. I would have jumped on the opportunity for a pregnancy massage knowing how phenomenal she is!

My due date arrived and bub decided to start his arrival bang on time at 9pm that night and I was ready! However, he decided he was quite comfy and dragged out my early labour for a long 24 hours before I was admitted into hospital (I later found out he was posterior and was spending that time trying to get himself into the right position!). Although it was hard, I felt strong and was able to move and stay active at home throughout this entire period thanks to staying active throughout my pregnancy (hello laps around the front yard and endless bouncing on my fit ball!). Nearly 36 hours later, Finn arrived happy and healthy after a fairly uncomplicated birth.

The next postnatal period was quite humbling for me as I discovered how much I took the strength I had built and maintained from Pilates over the years for granted. I had an episiotomy and a 2nd degree tear so I was very careful to take it extra slow the first few days. To aid in the healing of this, I booked for an ultrasound treatment with Felicity on day 5 postpartum which I found helped so much that I didn’t feel I needed to go in for a 2nd treatment.

I was fortunate to not need it, but it was also comforting to know if I was to have issues whilst breastfeeding, that I could make an appointment for LASER for cracked nipples or treatment ultrasound for mastitis too.

6 weeks postpartum, I booked for my Pelvic Health Assessment and was thrilled that my body was recovering well and building strength slowly. My patience in getting back into classes had paid off. This appointment was so reassuring for me to know exactly where I was at in my recovery and gave me specific guidelines on what type of exercise and how often would be best for me specifically. I was so excited to be able to get back into some Pilates classes.

I would love to say I dived straight back into 3 classes a week, but anyone who has had a baby knows that the newborn period is highly unpredictable so it just wasn’t possible for me to head into the studio for classes just yet. This is when I took advantage of Featherstone’s virtual classes. This allowed me to still have personalized attention during the live class but gave me the flexibility to be at home and have bub beside me. It was heaven to move and mobilise my stiff and sore body after extended periods sitting, nursing and holding bub. This combined with long walks (thank goodness for pram naps!), was the perfect rehab for my body and when I returned to in studio classes I felt confident (albeit very weak compared to pre-pregnancy me!)

I feel very lucky to have had a wonderful pregnancy experience with the help of the incredible Featherstone team and have a new appreciation for my changed body and what is needed to continue to feel strong and mobile. Knowing that everyone at Featherstone works as a team and communicates to ensure the best results for all clients was so reassuring throughout my journey. Featherstone really is a “one-stop shop” both pre and postnatally - for movement, injury management, pre/postnatal pelvic floor assessments and perineal care. My biggest advice for any new Mums-to-be - book that Pelvic Health Check both pre AND postnatally so you have confidence as you navigate your new world and new body.


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