88: Pregnancy Exercise, Diastasis, and Pelvic Floor Health with Lorraine Scapens

Pregnancy Exercise, Diastasis, and Pelvic Floor Health with Lorraine Scapens

My guest Lorraine Scapens has been a personal trainer for over 20 years and her focus has always been on pregnancy exercise. She now has an amazing website and exercise program designed specifically for moms in this stage of life.

In this episode, she explains something many of us wonder about: the right kind of exercise to do (and when) during and after pregnancy.

As a trainer, Lorraine knows how to avoid and fix diastasis and pelvic floor problems. She explains (in her beautiful Australian accent!) these commonly misunderstood or even unknown postpartum issues, as well as a plan for an ideal “4th trimester” recovery.

You all probably know how I feel about birth, and I can’t wait to dive into this topic!

Prepping for Birth: The Key Role of Pregnancy Exercise

Fun fact: It takes the human body 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover after running a marathon.

I think we can all agree that 9 months of pregnancy (although we all know it’s really more like 10!) plus labor and birth is like running the toughest marathon … and then some! Just like a marathon, it takes regular physical exercise to prepare and recover as best we can.

Plus, birth isn’t really the finish line. There’s still the crucial work of postpartum healing to be done. Now imagine how much longer it takes our bodies to recover when we seldom sleep, often breastfeed, and have to keep up with balancing the demands of a newborn and daily work/life.

It’s an incredible feat, to say the least, and moms deserve all the support and care they can get during this time.

Following Lorraine and her work has taught me a lot about pregnancy exercise and how it’s truly key for both mom and baby’s health. Just 20-30 minutes of pregnancy exercise every day boasts all these benefits:

  • more sustained energy
  • improved posture
  • reduction in back and hip pain
  • release of tension and stress with an increase in “happy hormones”
  • better sleep
  • increased blood flow to placenta = better nutrition and oxygen for baby
  • better positioning of baby for birth
  • baby better equipped for labor and birth (being used to higher heart rates)

And the list goes on!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • the mechanics of how our bodies change during pregnancy
  • best ways to get a safe and effective workout while pregnant (and when to back off)
  • how pregnancy exercise benefits baby too
  • the true timeline of postpartum recovery (we all know it’s not 6 weeks!)
  • 5 key steps to an optimal postpartum recovery
  • how to recognize diastasis recti and the 3-prong strategy to fix it
  • pelvic prolapse: what it feels like, what it means, and why our medical system might not catch it
  • how to manage 80-90% of “leaking” issues post-pregnancy (you all know what I mean)
  • Lorraine’s popular method for “No More Mummy Tummy”
  • all about Lorraine’s pre- and post-pregnancy exercise programs  (hint: no ab crunches involved!)

Pregnancy Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Sometimes it seems difficult to judge what is safe and what isn’t when it comes to pregnancy exercise. After all, we have someone other than ourselves to worry about!

Lorraine’s targeted prenatal and postpartum programs take the guesswork out of pregnancy exercise and lead moms step by step to optimal recovery and health. But I love her reminder that when you get right down to it, exercise can be simple. Just get up and move for 20-30 minutes a day and you’ll get many of the benefits.

Of course, pregnancy exercise comes with some extra precautions. What is “safe” exercise in pregnancy leaves some room for interpretation, but Lorraine advises avoiding contact sports or activities with increased risk for falls, bumps, or accidents. Use caution and common sense together with your doctor or midwife’s advice.

Do you find it hard to exercise during and after pregnancy? Do you have tips to share with other moms about what pregnancy exercise has worked for you?

Resources We Mention

Here are some of Lorraine’s targeted Pregnancy Exercise programs:

  • Fit2BirthMum – A comprehensive pregnancy exercise and wellness program with 60 pregnancy-safe workout videos designed to support mom and baby week by week through pregnancy.
  • Birth2FitMum – A safe, guided 12-week exercise program tailored to postpartum recovery, including healing diastasis recti, incontinence, and other common postpartum problems.
  • SuperFitMum – An advanced exercise program for moms 6 months or more postpartum looking to get super fit!
  • Also check out Lorraine’s popular 14-day programs, No More Mummy Tummy and Turn Your Baby!

Article: What You Need to Know About Prolapse During and After Pregnancy

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me mention them before. I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee.

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out! It’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried, period! It’s made with superfood mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. And these mushrooms have some big health benefits, plus give you energy and mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee.

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom teas and other caffeine-free products. I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off.

This podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market. If you live in a real food desert like I do, it can be difficult to find certain organic foods, specialty foods, or allergy-friendly foods. Thrive Market is my solution to this problem. They carry thousands of the non-perishable foods that I use most often at discount prices.

I think of Thrive as a combination of Costco, Amazon, and Whole Foods. They are online like Amazon, have a yearly membership fee to unlock discounts like Costco, and carry high quality foods like Whole Foods.

I order from them regularly and highly recommend them. Check out all of their products and grab a free jar of coconut oil here.

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Reader Comments

  1. What about men? My husband has the beginning of an inguinal hernia, and I have a weak pelvic floor and core. I’m trying to figure out what exercises we should do together to fix these issues. We’re to young for this and want to get healthy!

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