Recovering After Twin Pregnancy

Any pregnancy is essentially an endurance event for your body. It is even more challenging if you’re carrying multiple babies. Over the course of 9 months your body undergoes an enormous amount of change preparing for the arrival of your baby or babies. At the end of that period of change, you have another huge event – birth – which on its own can vary enormously in how long it takes, how difficult it is and how it plays out. At the end of this, all your poor body is then supposed to miraculously pull itself together again so you can get on with things.

The trouble is most women don’t think of pregnancy and birth as endurance events even though they are. People prepare for marathons. They train their body to get ready for the event but the same emphasis is not put on preparing your body for motherhood.

Multiple birth pregnancies can be even more challenging for women and it’s important that you prepare your body as much as is possible.

There are lots of challenges that women can experience during pregnancy that physios can assist with such as swollen ankles, pelvic pain, back pain and pelvic floor issues. One of the most important areas physios can help with is how well your body functions – how strong, flexibile and functional it is.

Working on your strength and flexibility during pregnancy can speed up the recovery after delivery and minimize the risk of pain and other issues during and after pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant your abdominal muscles undergo a huge stretch. The six-pack muscles (rectus abdominus) separate to accommodate the need for space. This separation can be much more significant in a twin pregnancy. It is important to work with physios that truly understand what your body is going through because they specialise in this field.

After you deliver there is very frequently still a separation. Sometimes that gap will never close all the way because your body is physically a different shape now than it was before – regardless of your weight. What is extremely important is that the tissue in the middle of the separation (linea alba) is able to tense and help transfer load around the body. When it doesn’t take load properly then the chances of disc bulges, back pain and pelvic pain increases dramatically.

When we assess postnatal women for the first time, even some years down the track, it is unbelievably common that the linea alba feels soft and saggy instead of tight and firm like material pulled tight. Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with if you have a slim or curvy body, it’s about the tissue in between the muscle.

Getting this tissue tight is all about your alignment and how well you engage your core muscles. Check out our video below that has tips on how you can get your tummy muscles back.

After carrying twins or even triplets the stretch that your abdominals have experienced is more significant and it is even more important that a quality physio examine your stomach and make sure that you can generate tension in the linea alba. Failing to rehabilitate your stomach muscles adequately can lead to chronic back and pelvic pain, prolapses, incontinence issues, strain on the pelvic floor, hernias and a wide range of other issues. It often also impacts how women feel about how their stomach looks.

We recommend a postnatal check for every woman after pregnancy. While you will likely have a 6 week check with your obstetrician or GP they generally don’t go into detail and look at your alignment, look at your abdominal function, look at your c-section scar and teach you how to minimize scar tissue, examine your pelvic floor strength and coordination and check for prolapses. That’s what our physios do. So if you want to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance to fully recover after prgnancy then book in for a postnatal check.

If you are currently pregnant, or hoping to soon be pregnant, and want to make sure that your body is strong and ready for the challenges ahead, then please come in and see one of our physios.

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