I respect your privacy and have ZERO TOLERANCE for spam.
My name is George Mercer, you may have heard of me because of my expertise in Post Natal recovery in Sheffield, or perhaps you have seen some of my material on social media or friends have told you about what I do - I run small group post natal exercise sessions at my studio on Little London Road, S8 0UJ.
Today I want to break my silence on topics that should no longer be considered “normal” for new mums. Some things people like to keep secret because it can be embarrassing to talk about.
Lots of women put weight on during their pregnancy and this extra weight, combined with the weight of the baby and growing uterus, is a lot for their body to carry.
Some women, for a long time after having their little one, really really struggle with accidentally peeing their pants during any type of exercise.
It can be mortifying.
It can happen when they laugh, cough, sneeze, jump around…you can imagine how this can be embarrassing and can leave them feeling helpless.
On top of this, some women have lower back and hip pain…
…they lack the confidence to do the things they used to be able to do and loved…
...they feel uncomfortable with the way they look...
…AND they have this bulging part of their lower belly they can NEVER get rid of.
For some mums this lasts years and, guess what, all these issues are related and it’s NOT THEIR FAULT!
There is a solution.
If you, like many other mums, suffer with a leaky bladder, lower back, hip or shoulder pain, have a bulging belly or feel like you have lost confidence in your strength, fitness or ability to do the things you used to love doing then please reach out to me to help you heal all these issues. All you need to do is click the link below. Let me help you!
You should understand that whilst you were pregnant, you have likely experienced what many women do during pregnancy which is something called Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Don’t worry if that sounds like gibberish, I’ll explain it all here.
Basically what happens, is that during pregnancy, your outermost abdominal muscles separate.
Your muscles need to expand in order to make room for your growing baby.
What can happen, however, is that the connective tissue holding these muscles together can thin and weaken as it gets stretched out.
This can create an issue after pregnancy if those connective tissues never get strong enough to bring your abdominal muscles back together.
What can often look like a lower belly tummy that never seems to go away, could in fact be a case of Diastasis Recti where your abdomen muscles have not properly healed.
Secondly, many women have pelvic floor dysfunction after pregnancy, and that is what can cause accidental leaking, pain during sex, lower back and hip pain, pelvic floor prolapse, and other issues.
You might be more likely to develop Diastasis Recti as a result of pregnancy if you:
- Are pregnant with multiple babies
- Deliver a baby who has a high birth weight
- Have had more than one baby
- Have gained a large amount of weight during pregnancy
VIDEO - Diastasis Recti
During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen and can cause a separation where two parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen. This can cause a bulge where these two muscles have separated.
This bulging might be noticeable when these muscles are tensed, such as during coughing, sneezing or sitting up.
This bulging is often most noticeable in the days immediately after delivery and will gradually lessen in the months that follow.
However, for some women some degree of separation can remain decades after childbirth and will prevent them ever getting a flatter stomach.
A study found that 1 in 3 women had some level of Diastasis Recti 12 months after delivery and 1 in 4 have symptoms of pelvic floor disorders.
As well as causing bulging, Diastasis Recti can cause lower back pain and make it difficult to lift objects (such as your baby), or even do other routine daily activities. Now don’t worry, this is something that can be healed even if you have had your baby a while ago. It doesn’t matter if you had a vaginal birth or a C-section birth, I can show you how to do so by clicking the button below.
It is important you get tested for Diastasis Recti because there are actually exercises that make it worse!
Understand that incorrect exercises, including crunches and planks, can actually increase the separation. All exercises should focus on pulling in the abdominal muscles and not pushing them out.
VIDEO - Intra Abdominal Pressure
Because women are so resourceful they go online to find information and motivation that will help them feel great again. The problem is that much of this information is simply inaccurate and outdated. If you search “How to get a flat stomach after having your baby” a lot of the advice is to start doing abdominal specific exercises which will simply make the problem worse.
Aggressive abdominal exercises after the first trimester may have contributed to the development of Diastasis Recti.
I understand that the day your baby was born was one of the best days of your life and you will never regret the changes to your body because of your beautiful little ones.
But I also understand that some of you wish so BADLY that there is someone to share with you the knowledge to fix the accidental leaks, how to get a flatter stomach, narrow the gap between your abdominal muscles, to get stronger and fitter in a safe way after having your baby so you can feel confident that you look great and can look after your children easily and pain free.
I have my own little one and I understand your struggles as my wife is going through the same struggles you are. I have helped many other mums just like you with the same struggles you are experiencing. There is no judgement on my end, I want to help.
I WAS STRUGGLING WITH MY BACK AFTER A C-SECTION - I HAVE BUILT MY STRENGTH BACK UP, MY WAIST IS SMALLER AND I’M BACK IN THE ROUTINE OF EXERCISE
"After having my baby I was struggling with my back as I had lost all the muscles in my stomach due to C-Section.
Before starting the mum and baby exercise sessions George, of Contour Fitness - Mumma Bump Fit, runs I wasn’t sure I would benefit from a group class in case the instructor didn’t have time to check I was doing exercise positions correctly.
It has been brilliant working with George. He is really easy to get along with, he knows what he is talking about, the session sizes are small which means George has plenty of time to check on you and he knows how to push you to do better without causing any hormonal meltdowns.
Now I have built my strength back up, my waist is noticeably smaller and I am back into the routine of exercise which I lacked during pregnancy.” - Caroline B. - Noah’s Mum
I HAD A BAD PREGNANCY, WAS UNFIT AND WANTED A POST NATAL SAFE EXERCISE CLASS THAT WASN’T JUST CONCENTRATED ON LOSING BABY WEIGHT - NOW I AM FITTER AND AM ABLE TO LIFT DOUBLE THE WEIGHT I COULD BEFORE. MY PELVIC FLOOR IS STRONG AND MY STOMACH MUSCLES ARE BACK TOGETHER
“Before starting the small group post natal exercise classes run by George I had a bad pregnancy and was unable to exercise, I was so unfit and didn't know what exercises from my previous regime were safe to do postnatally.
I was worried that the sessions might be like some other sessions I have seen where the concentration is just on losing the baby weight, rather than what is safe and best to heal my body ready to get back into my old exercise regime once it was safe to do so.
Every week I have seen small progress, and I've pushed myself further and I'm proud of how far I have come from when I first started. The women in the sessions come with different goals and George makes sure to do what he can to help them achieve those goals. For me, I want to build my strength and fitness levels to be better and use heavier weights than I was able to pre-pregnancy and George has encouraged me to do so in a safe and effective way. I have loved every session, even if some of them have made me sore for days after!
When I first started it felt like a struggle to finish the circuits even when using the lighter weights. My shoulders have always been one of my weakest areas and when I first started I struggled to shoulder press 4kg. Last week George saw that the 6kg was too easy for me and had to get the 8kg weights. To be able to double the weight I first used on an area I already struggled with was a massive achievement for me.
I'm so glad that I found George’s sessions as soon as I did! He has helped me in the process of building my fitness levels back up and I'm so grateful for everything he has taught me about strengthening my pelvic floor and bringing my stomach muscles back together. I love that George mixes the exercises up and every week is different so you don't get bored. I can't think of anyway the sessions could be improved!” - Zoey - Tegan’s Mum
I HAD LOST A LOT OF STRENGTH AND STRUGGLED TO PICK MY SON UP EASILY - I AM STRONGER AND LOVE THE FEELING OF HAVING WORKED OUT AGAIN
“Before pregnancy I used to do quite a bit of exercise including a bootcamp and running regularly. Post pregnancy I felt that I'd lost a lot of strength but especially core strength. My son is on the heavier side and I was starting to struggle to pick him up easily.
I was unsure about doing postnatal exercise with a relatively young male - my reservations were unfounded!! George is very friendly, motivating and knows what he is doing. I love being able to take my son to the sessions and I know that if he gets really upset that George will carry him round rather than just leaving him on the mat.
My Biggest result is improved strength - I feel like I am keeping up with my son's weight gain. I love the feeling of having worked out again and to know that I've done that safely postnatally. I love the sessions!!” - Laura T - Felix’s Mum