more than one way to raise a child

Mommy MOT: What is it and do you need one?

Mommy MOT: What is it and do you need one?

What is it?

So if you’ve recently given birth (in the UK!), you know that the GP offers a 12-week check up where you’d hope they’d look at your stitches (unless you were lucky enough to not have any!), check your tummy muscles and anything else you might need in order to give you the OK to start exercising. At least, that’s what they are meant to do. Both Em and I felt quite underwhelmed and not supported when we had our 12-week check, so we wanted to get a bit more advice since it’s SUPER important to not start exercising before your body is ready.

After Em and I turned up at Push Babies in the Barnes Wetland Centre 13-weeks postpartum unsure if our abdominal muscles had sewn back together and the state of our pelvic floor (eek!), the instructor Pauline recommended we get a Mommy MOT before doing any more exercise.

A Mommy MOT is an appointment with a professional who has specific knowledge of women health issues (e.g. tearing, stitches, pelvic girdle pain, pelvic floor issues etc) and has the capability to treat those issues in a holistic way. For our american readers, MOT is an annual car safety check in the UK — so it’s a bit of a cheeky title!

Do you need one?

If you’ve recently given birth (in the last year or so), or haven’t fully recovered from the crazy first year of your child’s life and feel like your muscles and bones need a bit of TLC – we’d HIGHLY recommend getting one. Whether or not you had a traumatic birth experience, a vaginal birth or a caesarean, growing and birthing a baby takes a toll on your body!

Where can you get one?

Both Em and I were treated by Caitlin Perrett who practices at the White Hart Clinic in Barnes, London – we had a fantastic experience. If you aren’t in the Chiswick/Barnes area, there are loads across London – just give it a google!

What was it like for me?

I was told by the GP that the hip pain I was experiencing, along with the bone-grinding pelvic girdle pain, wouldn’t stop until I stopped breastfeeding. The weeing-whilst-sneezing I thought was part of just having a baby. Little did I know!

Sitting down with Caitlin allowed me the space to understand what was really going on in my body and what could be done to fix it.

She assessed my hip pain through simple leg lifting exercises which she watched, followed by some hands on manipulation. She gave me exercises to manage my pelvic girdle pain which also helped the hip pain I was experiencing. The exercises were subtle but they made a massive difference.

The pelvic floor assessment was a bit more invasive – think gloves and lube! Turns out I had been doing pelvic floor exercises all wrong and was told to practice several times a day with varying quantity and length.

I left feeling SO much better. I ended up going back several times to be treated by her, not just for the Mommy MOT! Luckily, we were able to use our health insurance to cover the cost.

In summary, it was a breath of fresh air. I was listened to, examined in a respectful way and had all my questions answered. I have to be honest with you, half the time I don’t understand my body, let alone after I pushed a baby out of it. A Mommy MOT helped me understand a little bit more.

It is similar in the US?

Enough though I’m from the US I don’t know about the standards of care — I’m curious, is a similar 12-week check up appointment provided? Is there an equivalent Mommy MOT service? Let me know…

Photo credit: Pexels.

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