Kath Baquie is a physiotherapist, specialising in Women's Health. Kath is as committed as we are here at the suite set, to serving mamas to be and new mamas. We are so pleased to have connected with Kath and look forward to sharing her insights with you.
Kath knows everything there is to know about pelvic floor health - something that should be a life long interest to all women!
We asked Kath to share her thoughts with us here in our journal.
Q.How are you moving your body, Kath? What are your nonnegotiables when it comes to movement?
A. My non-negotiables are to do SOMETHING every day. Even if it's five minutes max. But having said that, when pregnant, listening to your body is important, and some days you just may not feel like doing much. It is important to remember that it is ok too. Perhaps the following day you can try to do a little extra?
At the moment whilst stuck at home I like to keep it simple - for example 10 squats, 10 modified push-ups, 1 set of an ab exercise of some sort, and then 1 balance exercise of some sort. In total it takes about 5 minutes, so then if I have the energy I repeat a few times, in addition to going for a walk with the kids.
Q.When should a pregnant woman consult a physio?
A: If there are any concerns about aches/pains, abdominal muscle separation (although this is normal, it does vary in severity, and can be managed), bladder/bowel leaking (incontinence), or prolapse symptoms (feeling of pelvic heaviness/dragging or vaginal bulge/lump.
We can also guide you through a safe pregnancy exercise program to keep you feeling strong and confident about your pregnancy journey and post-natal recovery.
Q.What are the most helpful questions a pregnant woman should be asking her a physio if they're having an online appointment?
A. Every physio is different, so ask your physio how they can help during a telehealth (online) appointment, and ask what they're offering. Although there are less physical assessment and hands-on treatment options, there is so much that may still be of benefit in terms of providing information and tips, as well as self-management strategies.
A.Do you think it is possible to prepare for the change that having a newborn brings?
A.Yes and No! I think ultimately we learn best from personal experience, which no amount of preparation can help with... but having said that, I believe preparation is super important too!
Q.Where did you turn to for support as a new mama?
A. My mum was super helpful - I have never appreciated my mum so much since becoming a mother myself! I think the most important thing is to have some sort of network around you - whether or not that's family, or your mother's group, or someone else. Hopefully, you can find someone to connect with you during this stage, and if you have no-one, then know which support services are out there that you can call upon (e.g www. panda.org.au)
Q. What was the very best advice you received before you became a parent?
A. "Just remember... childbirth and motherhood won't always go according to plan... and that is OK"
Q. What advice would you never give to a parent-to-be?
A "Create a birth plan"... I find that women with a definitive birth plan often get so stressed and hard on themselves if things don't go according to plan. I like to think of it more as a 'birth guide'.
Q. What was the best thing you packed in your hospital bag before the birth of all 3 children?
A. Being the physio, I never went without my reusable perineal ice packs and abdominal support Tubigrip.
You can follow Kath on Instagram at @fitnest_mama and download her free pelvic floor checklist.