If women experience either of these two situations, they should visit a women's health physiotherapist.
Their post-pregnancy stomach bulge isn't going away after doing lots of cardio
It's normal for women to carry some extra weight during the postpartum period, particularly around the abdominal area. If this excess weight consists mostly of fat, then it can be helpful for a woman to incorporate cardio exercise into her fitness routine to reduce her overall body fat levels, which can, in turn, reduce her abdominal fat levels.
However, in instances where a woman has been doing lots of cardio and still notices that her stomach seems to be bulging, then she should see a women's health physiotherapist. The reason for this is that the bulge might not be caused by fat accumulation in this area but instead by the separation of the stomach muscles that can often occur during a woman's pregnancy. This muscular issue is known as diastasis recti.
If this is the cause of the bulge, no amount of cardio exercise will resolve it. Instead, the woman will need to have her physiotherapist show her a range of safe, gentle abdominal exercises that will strengthen her transverse abdominus and gradually lead to the coming together of the separated muscles. The physio may need to have her come in for regular sessions for several months and may need to give her sets of abdominal exercises she can work on at home.
Their exercise routine is making their pelvic prolapse worse
Many women experience pelvic prolapses when they give birth. When these women then want to start regaining their fitness after their pregnancies, they can sometimes find that their pelvic floor problems make this difficult. For example, if a woman has a pelvic prolapse, she will probably find that common exercises, such as the sit-ups and leg lifts that are often done in Pilates classes, put pressure on her damaged pelvic region and make the symptoms of the prolapse worse.
If a woman is experiencing this issue, she should contact a physiotherapist who is familiar with women's health issues. The physiotherapist can help her to achieve her goal of regaining her pre-pregnancy fitness level by teaching ways to move her body that will strengthen it without causing further damage to the pelvic floor. Additionally, they can provide the woman with information about pelvic floor exercises that will improve their prolapse and reduce its associated symptoms.