How to do all the mom things without neck and mid back pain

How to do all the mom things without neck and mid back pain

I think we focus a lot of attention on pregnancy and postpartum care in the pelvis and lower body. This makes sense, it's where the majority of change is happening. It's more common to have pain in the lower body, with walking or sleeping or movement in general. 

The upper body is super important though. A lot of changes in posture, especially bad ones, start in the neck and shoulders. During pregnancy, your boobs are growing which places extra stress on the muscles to hold your chest up. Then you have the baby, and there's lots of holding, carrying, and lifting. Nursing too, even with a boppy pillow, has a tendency to cause us to lean forward for long periods of time.

My favorite upper body exercises to get my patients started with are bodyweight exercises or with resistance bands. This does not apply to those of you who are already in a weight lifting routine. You go ahead and crossfit and be awesome (as long as you also aren't peeing yourself doing deadlifts, because that ain't right!)

A favorite routine of mine is called Ts, Ys, Is, and/or sometimes Ws are thrown in there too, because these are the letters a person will make, somewhat, with her arms when performing the exercises. These can be modified to almost any position, which is why they are some of my favorites. Options are:

1. while sitting on an exercise ball, with light weights, or a resistance band

2. leaning over the ball while kneeling (during pregnancy with a belly). This second position is slightly more challenging because of gravity on the weight of your arms

3. Standing with light weights or using a resistance band

Here is a video link from YouTube to give a demonstration over the ball. Again, this is easily modified with a pregnant belly

An excellent resource for exercises that are core, pelvic floor, and prolapse safe is FemFusion Fitness on YouTube, run by Dr. Bri PT, DPT. I love her videos and her story about advocating for herself when her healthcare providers brushed off her prolapse symptoms. (We won't hold it against Bri that she uses doTerra oils, spread that EO love! )

Here's a great video from Dr. Bri about chest opening and stretching

I’m currently in process of researching several pregnancy/postpartum fitness programs on the market. I have previously recommended Every Mother, and I loved working with them, and still think it is a great product, but now that my contract has ended I want to explore everything else! Stay tuned for that

I'm a pelvic floor physical therapist...what does that mean?

I'm a pelvic floor physical therapist...what does that mean?

What is pelvic floor PT?

Pelvic floor PT is physical therapy from specialized physical therapists for diagnoses or conditions related to functions of the pelvis. This includes anything related to the bladder (peeing), bowel (pooping), or sex. It also includes any kind of aches or pain in and around the pelvis. This would include the groin, the pubic bone, low back, and abdomen. This could be for women at any age really, and some men too. There’s also a lot that a pelvic floor PT who has some obstetric training (like me!) can do during pregnancy and postpartum, since all that happens in the pelvis too. 

What happens when I go see a pelvic floor PT?

The PT will talk with you about your complaints, your goals, your daily habits. Then usually there will be a physical assessment of your muscles, your movement, your posture. This could include an internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles or not. It depends on your comfort level and if the PT thinks it is indicated. There is no need to do anything internal on the first day. Your PT should always explain the process to you and ask for your consent before proceeding! After this evaluation, your PT will be able to decide your baseline and plan the steps to help you achieve your goals. 

Then what?

You and your PT will work together to create your plan of care. This might include exercises, or other things for you to do on your own at home, education, and/or lifestyle changes to make to help you achieve the goals you set out. You and your PT will decide how often you are going to meet, and if those meetings will be in person as is traditional, or perhaps a combination of in person and virtual. 

I often find in my practice that I function as a health coach and a coordinator of patient care with other specialties that may be needed. Your PT should spend time with you to hear about the other members of your medical team. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page! 

What questions do you have about pelvic floor/pregnancy/postpartum PT? Send them over so I can answer in a future blog post. 

Why is a PT teaching Labor & Delivery classes?

Why is a PT teaching Labor & Delivery classes?

Why is a Physical Therapist teaching Labor & Delivery classes? a question I'm getting asked a lot.

Physical Therapists are body movement experts! We have doctorate level training in assessing movement dysfunction and rehabilitating to get back to optimal movement, usually without pain! I have advanced training in obstetric and pelvic floor physical therapy and am such a nerd about all things pregnancy, birth, postpartum and motherhood. 

During labor, the uterus is contracting. Why? To move the baby down into the pelvis and birth canal! The position the baby is in the uterus and continues as he moves down into the pelvis can drastically affect your labor experience. In my opinion, not enough attention is paid to try to make this optimal. There are techniques, positions and education to learn to help this happen in an easier way, or to help you get through it! 

While I know other birth preparation classes do a great job teaching the basics of breathing and possible different interventions, being a physical therapist offers me a unique perspective to work with the joints, muscle, ligaments in the pelvis and what needs to happen from a biomechanical perspective to have that baby! There is a heavy focus on teaching your partner, or whoever may be supporting you during labor to help and advocate for your wants and needs for this experience. These things include:

  • Positions to be in at different stages

  • Positions with and without an epidural 

  • Ideas for creating a relaxing birthing environment 

  • Strategies for pain control 

  • How to breathe and push your baby out

Sound interesting? Let's chat more! 

Like this content? You might LOVE my free guide for a healthy holistic pregnancy! And go check out my Facebook page Abby Inman PT, DPT. 


Happy New Year!

It's 2018! The year I'm going to have a baby! That's a pretty amazing thought. To all those mommas like me, that 2018 is going to be your year, congratulations. To all those mommas still waiting for prayers to be answered, hang in there, I see you. This heartache is not everlasting. It is real, and I am here to support you and pray for you. 

I am going to shift the content of my posts a little bit for the new year, and my last trimester. Hubby and I will be taking Bradley Method classes, so I'd like to e able to reflect on these. But also, I want to share some of my PT knowledge with ya'll. It's been an interesting science experiment to try to follow all of my own advice, that I give to my patients. As we get closer to delivery, I'd like to share what I'm doing in this regard. 

I definitely have a soap box when it comes to prenatal and postpartum care. I'm very passionate about this, because I see so many women, who I think could have been helped with a little education during pregnancy, or prior to delivery. This blog has given me so much already, so I want to give a little back too. 

24 weeks today. I've been feeling lots of movement, and wow is it incredible. Once I even thought I saw the movement from the outside! We did share the news of boy or girl with our families over the Christmas weekend, so stay tuned for a post on that!

All the blessings for 2018 friends!



Halfway there!!! 20 weeks. Oh how I've prayed for this week and this growing baby. 11 ounces Peanut is now. That's still so tiny!

We had the anatomy scan on Monday morning! It's so cool! 4 heart chambers, 2 kidneys, a stomach, a bladder, this nerdy PT was fascinated. My little one was very active during the whole hour. Everything looks good, great even and we are just so happy. We both welled up. 


This little Peanut is 22 weeks. 

I'm not feeling down about the Christmas season. I'm feeling hopeful. Although I wish my Charlie were here with us for his first Christmas, I'm preparing for the birth of Jesus, and for our little one in the spring. 

We had a very nice visit with my parents and brother in their new home in Laughlin, Nevada. My mom gave me an ornament commemorating Charlie, I also got another one from my sister in law yesterday. They are hanging on our tree now. 

I've been diffusing an oil blend called Christmas Spirit, mixing it with other holiday scents such as Nutmeg and Peppermint. I love how it makes the whole house smell delicious. I've been wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music. I'm not much of a baker, so no cookies over here. 

The last two mornings, I think I finally felt Peanut. It was light and subtle, but it did sort of feel like bubbles popping on the inside. I couldn't feel it with my hand on the outside. This was right away when I woke up, laying in bed. Once I start moving, I haven't been able to feel it again, even when I sit or lay down at the end of the day. 

I started researching the Bradley method of childbirth, based on a recommendation from my sister and brother in law. Anselm and I are going to do the 12 week class. I'm so excited to learn about natural childbirth, because I feel like I've advocated a lot for it with my patients. But now I'll get to go through it myself. I'll have a series of posts about it for sure. 

Anyways that's all the updates for now. Merry Christmas everyone!

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