Tag Archive: postnatal recovery

  1. Your post-pregnancy body: easing breastfeeding back pain

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    When you become a mum, your body changes. You have just given birth, one of the most amazing, emotional, physically challenging, and rewarding experiences of your life – it’s okay if your body feels some strain after welcoming your little one into the world.

    Your post-pregnancy body may feel slightly different, and you may experience some common physical complaints, such as back pain, related to your pregnancy or birth, or related to your new routine such as lifting, carrying, or breastfeeding your baby.

    A new mum’s back is put under a lot of strain every day, but there are lots of things you can do to help yourself.

    Breastfeeding & back pain explained

    Breastfeeding is a skill. Many women put themselves under enormous pressure trying to master it instantly. If you do choose to try and breastfeed, it is important to be kind to yourself and allow time for you and your baby to learn, and to seek advice from health professionals whenever you need it. NHS guidance reminds mums that there are many different breastfeeding positions, such as the cradle hold and the rugby hold, and it is good to try out different ones to work out what is best.

    However, your back pain could be due to your own posture during a feed, and this can be eased with some posture correction.

    Top tips: breastfeeding & posture

    The number one tip to avoid back pain when breastfeeding is to keep your back straight. Always remember to bring your baby to your breast, rather than bending over baby to breastfeed.

    Before a feed, make sure you are in a comfortable position, with relaxed arms and shoulders. Use a cushion to help support your lower back, and to keep your back straight. If the cradle hold is a breastfeeding position that works for you and baby, sit in a comfortable chair with good back support and arm rests, or on a bed with cushions or pillows around you. If you are sitting on a chair, try resting your feet on a stool or small table – this will stop you from leaning forward which can make your back ache.

    Working on your posture when breastfeeding may help with back pain, but you may still experience backaches from your new daily routine with baby.

    Ways to relieve your aching back

    Your body is still recovering in the weeks and months after pregnancy and childbirth, and your back pain will improve over time. However, there are practical ways to ease the pain:

    • Try not to bend your back. When lifting your baby, make sure you keep your back straight and bend at your knees, not your waist. This means you are lifting with your legs, not your back.
    • If possible, try kneeling in front of your baby when putting them into the car seat, instead of bending your back.
    • Remember to avoid twisting your body when you are holding your baby and try not to carry your baby on your hip, as this can put strain on your back muscles.
    • When picking toys up off the floor or bathing your baby, try kneeling or squatting instead of bending your back.
    • Keep your back straight when you push your pram or buggy.
    • Try carrying your baby in a well-fitting sling which will help hold your baby’s weight up and into your body and allow you to stand straight and relieve your back. Check out our blog on the benefits of babywearing. Here at Mumie we love the Ergobaby Omni 360 sling – comfortable yet secure and supportive for both you and baby.
    • Change nappies on a raised surface. You could try kneeling on the floor next to a sofa or bed.
    • Speak to your GP about whether your body is ready for some gentle exercise, like Pilates or yoga. This can help strengthen your back muscles and improve posture and flexibility. Returning to exercise? Have a read of our blog on how to do this safely after having your baby.

    Bring it up at your postnatal check

    If a physical problem like back pain is worrying you, you can always ask your GP or a health visitor for help at any time. Your postnatal check at around 6 to 8 weeks is a good chance to talk to your GP about how you are doing since the birth. You can find lots of information on how you can prepare for your postnatal check on the Mumie app.

    Although post-pregnancy back pain is common, it is also important to listen to your body, be gentle with yourself and rest up whenever you can. If you are breastfeeding and you have an aching back, or your back is hurting from your new mum routine, remember that what your body has achieved and continues to achieve every day is powerful and should be celebrated.

    Karen McCusker is a Copywriter from Ireland, with a passion for creating meaningful connections with others through language. Her goal is to amplify women’s voices and experiences through her writing. She describes herself as a storyteller at heart, and the ultimate “Swiftie”

  2. Postnatal return to exercise – are you ready?

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    Whether you’re a seasoned pro or starting out for the first time, it can be hard to know where to start with getting back to exercise following the birth of your baby. 

    Exercise can have some great benefits after having a baby; it can help you feel better and relieve stress, reduce your risk of postnatal depression as well as helping you recover if you are struggling. Exercise helps to strengthen and tone your muscles (including your tummy muscles) after pregnancy.

    Although you might be itching to get going, it’s so important not to rush things. Although the internet seems full of influencers “snapping back” or starting their postpartum exercise regime within hours of giving birth, your body needs time to heal and recover from pregnancy and birth. You’ll thank yourself later.

    Why is it important to wait?

    Time to heal 

    Even if you have no wounds on the outside, the area where the placenta has separated from the womb is a wound. This wound usually bleeds for the first 6-8 weeks following the birth of your baby. Like any wound or injury, it needs time, and the right conditions, to allow it to heal. Our bodies are brilliant at healing, when we give them the chance to. You might notice that bleeding gets a little heavier after you start doing a bit more – increased blood flow to the area can cause an increase in bleeding. 

    If you’ve had stitches from an episiotomy or tear, these will also take time to heal. Doing too much too soon can cause swelling and pain in this area, and can put unnecessary pressure on a healing wound.

    If you’ve had a caesarean section, recovery can take longer. It’s a major operation on your tummy, with the doctor needing to cut through several layers of tissues to reach your baby. These all take time to heal and return to full strength. It’s recommended to wait 12 weeks after a caesarean to start exercising. This of course is different for everyone, and when one woman might feel ready is not the same as when another might.

    The timeline for recovery from birth varies for everyone. It can be affected by lots of factors including sleep, nutrition, breastfeeding, weight and emotional wellbeing. Doing too much before the body has had time to recover can trigger something called relative energy deficiency (REDs), where the body doesn’t have enough energy to carry out its normal functions. This can have effects on periods, mental health, bone health and likelihood of becoming unwell with infections.

    Pelvic health

    Pregnancy and childbirth causes significant stretch and strain on the pelvic floor. Research has shown that recovery time for the tissues in the pelvis is between 4-6 months, much longer than the traditionally accepted 6 weeks. Returning to exercise before the pelvic floor is fully recovered can increase the long term risk of pelvic organ prolapse and problems with incontinence.

    Changes to your muscles, joints and ligaments

    The effects of pregnancy on your body can change the way you stand and walk, and your joints can become less stable. This takes some time to return to normal after your baby is born. Too much too soon, and you run the risk of becoming injured.

    So it’s important not to feel pressured into returning to, or indeed starting, a training routine too soon. You really do need time to rest and recover!

    Breastfeeding considerations

    • Feed your baby before you start exercising; it’s no fun with full breasts!
    • Activity and exercise shouldn’t affect the amount of milk you are producing, but make sure you stay hydrated.
    • Wear a supportive bra; some choose to wear a sports bra over a normal nursing bra, but some brands are now making specific nursing sports bras. We have paired up with some of our favourite brands to bring you exclusive discounts on nursing sports bras and the rest of their range of maternity and nursing products
    We love this Popcorn Nursing Sports Bra from Cake Maternity – 15% off with MUMIEH15

    When can I start?

    In the first few weeks after giving birth, you can do some gentle exercises for your core and pelvic floor. This would include pelvic floor exercises and pelvic tilts (tipping your pelvis forward and backwards while arching and curling your back). Your body needs time to recover and it’s important to start really gently.


    You can start gentle walking when you feel ready. A change of scene can do wonders for you both if baby is crying or unsettled, so pop them in the pram, buggy or sling and head out! Not only will this help you clear your head, but it will help offload excess fluid from pregnancy, and reduce your risk of blood clots forming in the legs. Do what you can and don’t push it – listen to your body.

    If this feels ok, gradually build up to walking a bit more. Aim to build towards walking for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. You don’t need to do this all in one go. Two 15 minute walks in the day is fine. And if you feel like doing more, great! But listen to your body; aches and pains are usually a sign it’s too much too soon. Some women find they bleed a bit more once they start moving around more. If this is not excessively heavy and you feel well, it’s nothing to worry about. 

    Start to build it up

    From about 4 weeks postnatal it’s recommended to start building in some gentle resistance exercises, just with body weight to begin with. Add some gentle movement to your daily routine like squats or lunges. And keep going with the pelvic floor exercises.

    From 6 weeks it’s ok to start adding in some light aerobic exercise. This could be using a cross trainer, or static bike. It’s likely to take longer than this if you had a tear or a caesarean – again if anything hurts it’s probably too soon.

    You might find meeting up with other mums and babies is a good way to get active and socialise. Lots of areas now offer buggy walks and buggy fitness classes. Some gyms also offer parent and baby fitness classes. It’s a great way to meet other parents! We’ve reviewed Buggyfit, a nationally available mum and baby exercise class in a previous Blog – take a look here.


    Swimming is a great low impact activity that’s gentle on your joints and can strengthen your muscles. It’s best to wait until your bleeding has stopped and stitches or wound have healed. This is likely to be at about 6 weeks. 

    We spoke to Ashley Jones from Swim England who told us “Swimming is a great way to get active again after having a baby. Exercising in water provides a safe, low-impact opportunity to be active, with recognised benefits on sleep and emotional wellbeing.”

    Yoga and Pilates

    These are good, low impact activities that will help you build muscle strength and improve function, especially in the tummy muscles. Lots of areas offer mum and baby classes, so you can take little one along with you. There are lots of postnatal specific videos available on sites like Youtube, we love the Pregnancy and Postpartum TV channel on Youtube for workouts pitched at all levels!

    Make sure you start easy and build up, however tempting it may be to steam ahead!

    High impact activities

    It’s best to wait 3-6 months after giving birth to do any high impact activities that involve running or jumping. This is to make sure the pelvic floor and tummy muscles have had time to recover.

    If you have any of the following symptoms, either before starting or once you’ve done high impact activities, it’s recommended to stop. Speak to your GP about a referral to a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic health.

    • Incontinence (leaking of wee or poo)
    • Heaviness/dragging feeling in the pelvis
    • Discomfort while having sex
    • Difficulty fully emptying your bowels
    • Significant separation of your abdominal muscles, or diastasis recti
    • Pain in the lower back or pelvis, either there before, during or after impact exercise

    Provided you don’t have any of the above symptoms and you are recovering well from birth, you should be good to give higher impact activities a try. We always recommend starting gently to begin with. A Couch to 5k programme is a great way to get back into running. If you develop any of the above symptoms when you start running, it’s important to scale it back and speak to your GP or Women’s Health physiotherapist. Remember leakage is common, but it’s not normal.

    Once your baby is 6 months old, you can even run with them in the buggy. We’d always recommend using a buggy that’s properly designed for running, with a lockable front wheel. We are huge fans of the Out n About range.

    Want to know more about postnatal running? Check out this blog from leading postnatal physiotherapists Grainne Donnelly, Tom Goom and Emma Brockwell, on returning to running for women after having a baby.

    Getting active again after having your baby has so many benefits; but it’s important for your long term health to listen to your body and take things at your own pace. Everyone will recover at their own pace. If you need to wait, your body will thank you in the long run.

  3. Maternal Mental Health Week: Raising Awareness and Support for Mothers

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    Motherhood can be one of the most rewarding experiences a woman can have, but it can also be one of the most challenging. The physical and emotional demands of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood can take a toll on a woman’s mental health. That’s why Maternal Mental Health Week is so important. This annual event, which takes place during the first week of May, aims to raise awareness of maternal mental health and provide support for mothers who may be struggling.

    The History of Maternal Mental Health Week

    Maternal Mental Health Week was first launched in 2014 by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK. The Partnership is a group of charities, organisations, and individuals who are committed to improving the mental health of women during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and is now recognised internationally.

    The theme of Maternal Mental Health Week 2023 is ‘Together in a changing world’ with daily themes as follows

    Monday – Starting the conversation about perinatal mental health

    Tuesday – Shining the spotlight on support

    Wednesday – World Maternal Mental Health Day #StrongerTogether

    Thursday – Healthcare professionals hub to support healing

    Friday – Perinatal positivity pot

    Saturday – Support for all families

    Sunday – Recap and reflect

    Why Maternal Mental Health Matters

    Maternal mental health is a crucial aspect of a woman’s overall health and wellbeing. Mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the postnatal period can have a significant impact on both the mother and her child. For the mother, it can lead to a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These symptoms can affect her ability to bond with her baby, care for herself and her child, and enjoy motherhood.

    For the child, maternal mental health difficulties can have long-lasting effects on their development and wellbeing. Studies have shown that children of mothers who experience mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the postnatal period are at an increased risk of developmental delays, behavioural problems, and mental health difficulties later in life.

    Getting Help for Maternal Mental Health Difficulties

    If you are a mother who is struggling with your mental health, it’s essential to seek help. There are many sources of support available, including your GP, midwife, health visitor, and local mental health services. You can also contact organisations such as the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, PANDAS Foundation, and Mind for further advice and support.

    It’s essential to remember that maternal mental health difficulties are common, and you are not alone. By reaching out for help, you can take the first step towards improving your mental health and wellbeing, and ensuring the best possible start for you and your child.

    In Conclusion

    Maternal Mental Health Week is an essential event that highlights the importance of maternal mental health and provides support for mothers who may be struggling. By raising awareness of this issue and providing access to support and resources, we can help mothers to overcome mental health difficulties and enjoy a positive and fulfilling experience of motherhood. So, let’s come together and support maternal mental health, because mental health matters.

    To have a read more about the Maternal Mental Health Alliance click here https://maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/

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Privacy Policy

Updated: 18th May 2023 This privacy policy explains how Mumie ("we" or "us") collects, uses, and shares information about you when you access or use our website or web application ("App")  collectively our "Services".  Mumie is committed to complying with data protection and privacy law. We take your privacy seriously and are committed to protecting your personal information. Please read this policy carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data.

Information We Collect

We may collect the following types of information when you use our Services:
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Mumie is intended to be used by women who have recently given birth. It is not intended to be used by children.

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We may use the information we collect for the following purposes:
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We will store this information within our App so that you can have access to it for as long as you are our registered user. We may also use it for statistical and research purposes, but only in an aggregated and anonymised format (i.e., in a format that does not allow us to identify who this information relates to). The information you provide will be processed on one or more of the following lawful bases:
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We may share your information with other parties with your consent. Your information will not be transferred out of the UK.

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We may use your contact details to provide you with information about our work, events, services and/or activities which we consider may be of interest to you. Where we do this via email, SMS, or telephone, we will not do so without your prior consent. You are free to opt out from receiving marketing communications by following the "unsubscribe" link in our email, or by contacting us directly. We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any third party for marketing purposes.

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We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used, or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered, or disclosed. Your data will be stored on a secure web server, with the app hosted on a trusted host provider with regular security update enhancements. Your personal data can only be accessed by those within Mumie who have a genuine need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instruction, and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so. While we will use all reasonable efforts to safeguard your personal data, you acknowledge that the use of the internet is not entirely secure and for this reason, we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of any personal data that are transferred via the internet. We can not be held responsible for unauthorised access or use of your information that is beyond our control.

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We will only retain your personal data for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. We may retain your personal data for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you. Typically, we will not keep your personal data for longer than 5 years after you have closed your account on our App or stopped using it, after which point personal data will be destroyed. We may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes, in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.

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You have the right to access and control your personal information, including the right to be informed about what data we hold, the right to access this data, the right to rectify inaccurate data, the right to erase your data, the right to restrict or object to your information being used, and the right to move your data to another business. If you have any questions about your rights or would like to exercise your rights, please contact us using the information provided at the end of this policy. When signing up to our app you will be asked to provide your consent to share your information. You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time and may do so by contacting us. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (ico.org.uk) We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

Changes to This Policy

We may update this privacy policy from time to time.  If we make changes, we will notify you by revising the date at the top of the policy and, in some cases, we may provide you with additional notice (such as adding a statement to our website homepage or sending you a notification). We encourage you to review the Privacy Policy whenever you access the Services or otherwise interact with us to stay informed about our information practices and the choices available to you. Your continued use of our services after the effective date of the updated policy will constitute your acceptance of the revised policy.

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The Party responsible for the processing of your personal data is Mama Health Ltd. The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Dr Laura Davies. The Data Protection Officer may be contacted using the contact us page on the website. If you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policy, please contact us using the contact page on our website or by emailing us at hello@mumie.health
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