Health Notes

Birth trauma – comment on SMH article 22/03/2019

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An Article I read today in the SMH prompted me to write this post.  It was about women who felt disempowered, traumatised and depressed regarding their birth experiences and the short term and longer term after-effects.  In particular, the main woman in the article had been significantly physically and emotionally traumatised by her birth experience, (having sustained a third degree perineal tear and an avulsion injury to her pelvic floor muscles), after an instrumental delivery.  The article then went onto discuss that many women were not often given the chance to make decisions during labour about the proposed interventions and had not given their express “informed consent”,  for certain more interventional procedures.  Also mentioned, was the lack of warning of the potential risks to the woman, of such procedures.

Whilst obtaining “informed consent” is the ideal in the world of patient care,  I think any of us who have either been through a “successful”, (or attempted, but unsuccessful) vaginal birth, would agree that we are not always thinking rationally, or able to make great decisions in the face of immense pain and often great fear.  With the birth of my (almost 10lb) first child,  when my wonderful obstetrician arrived, if he had have told me he was going to slice me from neck to pelvis to get this baby out, and end the excruciating pain I was experiencing, I would have screamed my agreement.  Thankfully he did not…lol, but thanks to expert forceps manoeuvring and a fairly large episiotomy… (oouch…that 19 years later still sends a shiver down my spine)  ..both my big boofhead of a son and I, got through the experience relatively unscathed.  And I will be forever grateful to my wonderful obstetrician for this!!

This is why expectant parents need to do thorough research, ask questions and seek advice, prior to engaging their medical team.   They need to find an obstetrician/team, with whom they feel comfortable, can relate to, and that they can trust will make the best decisions (based on their expertise), at such a time, that they are incapable of making good decisions themselves.  Discussing possible birth scenarios, the pros and cons, the medical rational for one type of delivery as opposed to another and the varying options, should all be discussed prior to labour and delivery.  The vast majority of obstetricians and midwives, (particularly those that I work with, anyway), are deeply concerned about achieving the best possible outcomes for the mums’ under their care, and of course the safe delivery of a healthy baby.  We need to trust in their decision making and care… after all that is what we pay them for….


Next week…. the importance of a 6 week post-natal physiotherapy check..

Equipment Pilates – “Come and try” day… Restore Allied Health

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Have you ever wished you could try Equipment Pilates, with an experienced instructor ,to see if it is for you before you commit? Are you confused about the different types of Pilates on offer… mat vs reformer vs machine vs clinical? Does the thought of walking into a large gym not delight you?… Well, we can clear all this up for you and expel some of the myths (eg. It’s only for women… It requires too much co-ordination and balance….it won’t challenge me enough)…

You may have seen pictures of reformer couches, trapeze tables and other equipment, but if you haven’t seen it in action, and haven’t had a chance to try it, how could you know, as we do, what a wonderfully wholistic workout it provides. 
That’s why we are inviting you to our 
at Restore Allied Health and Pilates.

KRISTY ANDREW – Physiotherapist, and Lymphoedema Practitioner- and SARAH CONDOUS -qualified Fitness and Pilates instructor, will be on hand throughout the day, to explain, demonstrate, set up and give you a chance to experience our wonderful equipment Pilates for yourself.

Bookings will be taken by our lovely receptionist Rachael, from MONDAY 3RD OF SEPTEMBER Ph. 53030333, and the 40 min sessions will be capped at a maximum of FOUR participants. You can bring a friend, organise a group of four, or come on your own; and be guaranteed that everyone will be closely instructed and supervised…

Class times will be 12-12.45pm, 1-1.45pm, 2-2.45pm and 3-3.45pm…. to offer the opportunity for 20 people to come and try our equipment, and all we ask for in return, is a $10 donation which will be given to the wonderful new local charity initiative “Foodbank Ballarat”… see the following link.

HURRY! First in first served… Jen, Sarah, Rachael and I, can’t wait to welcome you to our new Pilates gym and introduce you to this wonderful way to exercise… and why not grab a coffee across the road (at the Turret) as your reward when you’re done!!
Please wear comfortable pants or leggings and a light top (under a jacket) in case it gets warm. We also require that you wear socks… (feel free to wear your boldest and brightest…odd socks OK too!!)
All fitness levels and ages welcome!!!! BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE……..
There will be a lucky door prize of a free 10 visit pass valued at $315 which will be drawn at the conclusion of the day. We can’t wait!
Kristy, Sarah, Jen, Rachael and the team at Restore Allied Health.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)…. also known as light bladder leakage (LBL)

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Booking my daughter, Hayley’s birthday at the new trampoline centre in Ballarat got me thinking……

If I had a dollar, for every woman who told me they first noticed everything with their bladder wasn’t quite right, was when they attempted to have a bounce with their kids on the trampoline, I’d be able to retire…

This very common type of urinary incontinence is called stress urinary incontinence (or SUI), and affects at least one in three women.  Unfortunately, it has almost been “normalised” by the term “Light Bladder Leakage (or LBL)”,  which is not a recognised medical term, but one conjured up by the “Incontinence Product” manufacturers….. just put on a pad and keep jumping….

SUI happens when the intra-abdominal (and consequent bladder pressure) exceeds the maximal urethral (urine tube) closing pressure.  The pelvic floor muscles, along with the urethral sphincter muscle, play a vital role in increasing the urethral pressure.  Therefore, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can cure SUI in many cases…..  but it takes at least 3 months of an intensive exercise program to effect strength change in the muscles.   And obviously it is imperative that you are doing them correctly… and that is where I can help….. I strongly believe that all women, regardless of symptoms, should at some stage make sure they are doing them properly.. and the only way to properly check is to see a qualified Continence & Pelvic Floor physiotherapist..






Fluid – Common myths and misconceptions

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Whilst interviewing a client today, I was reminded of the confusion in the general community about how much we should drink, and what we should drink….

Who, for example has heard any of the following:

  1. for clear skin, good hydration and weight loss we should drink 8 glasses of water per day
  2. coffee and tea  and cola drinks don’t count
  3. when we exercise we sweat a lot and should drink at least a water bottle during the class…. and more after we finish….

Well I certainly have, and it is not correct.

We can drink 8 glasses of water…. however, those glasses should only be 250ml and if we do, that should be our ENTIRE fluid intake for the day….. very unlikely for most of us….

Coffee, Tea and Cola should be counted in our daily fluid intake, but limited, as they have the effect of increasing urine production, and in some people, irritate the bladder, making you go to the toilet more frequently and urgently.

If we could collect all of the sweat from out bodies when we exercise, it would not fill a cup;  therefore we don’t need to drink a heap of water to stay hydrated, by all means take a couple of mouth fulls of water during an exercise class, but you don’t need to chug it down… that will just lead to increased frequency and urgency of urination.

Is there a problem with drinking too much?  Well yes, there can be.  At the very least it can cause us to go to the toilet too frequently and more urgently, and sometimes we might not make it… In the worst case scenario, if fluid in consumed in excess (>3L), over a long period of time, the bladder (which is a muscle) can overstretch; not give us the signal that it is full, and not empty properly.  This can result in urinary overflow incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections, and in the worst case scenario result in the need to use a catheter to empty the bladder.

The recommendation for most people (who are not on medical fluid restriction, or under medical instruction to drink more) should be 1.5-2L, total fluid, for a 24 hour period, with the majority (more than 50% being non- alcohol and non-caffeine).

And just another quick comment; green tea, whilst it is claimed has many health benefits,  does contain caffeine…

My BLOG next week…. What if we don’t drink enough fluid….


Clinical Pilates Timetable – Commencing Mon 8/7/2018


Here is the timetable for the all new Restore Allied Health’s Clinical Pilates, commencing Mon 8/7/2018.

Classes descriptions are as follows:

Fit for 2 (antenatal) (Tues 6- 6.50pm); (Thurs 6-6.50pm); and (Sat 10-10.50am)max 4 Clients per session ($45) These 50 minute classes will include a mixture of strength, balance and postural awareness exercise, using the clinical pilates equipment, fitballs, bands and slide board, with an emphasis on efficient and safe movement.  Individual needs and conditions will be taken into account with a tailored and individual exercise program.

 Mum and Bub (postnatal)…. Tues 11-11.50, Sat 9.00 -9.45.  4 clients per session ($45) – for women from 6 weeks post- natal to 9 months… (babies in prams) welcome. The class will be a mixture of strength, balance and postural exercise using the pilates equipment, fitballs, bands and the slide board, with a particular emphasis on “restoring” the strength of the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles.  An essential “core” and overall strength preparation, for new mums who are keen to resume their usual exercise routines as soon (and as safely), as possible.  We may even have a wonderful “baby sitter” in some of the sessions, to pop in a dummy, give a cuddle or walk the pram…

New mum’s “Time Out” (post-natal)….. Sat 8-8.50 (just mums);  9-9.50 (babies optional)4 clients per session as above, but for those who may want a little well deserved “time-out” from their bundles of joy….Tell partners the class goes for 90 mins, and pop to the Turret for a coffee afterwards..ssshhhh

Restore and Revive Pilates…. Mon and Thurs (12-12.50pm) 5 Clients per session ($45) – a 12-16 week program for women who are undergoing or have recently completed (in the last 12 months) breast cancer treatment.  To “restore” fitness, strength, endurance, confidence and revive the mind.

 Women’s Inner strength….. Mon 9-9.50  5 Clients per session ($45) a specially tailored class for women who have undergone gynaecological or abdominal surgery and/or have pelvic floor issues .  A special emphasis will be placed on the core, back and pelvic strength.

 Men’s inner strength5 Clients per session ($45) – a specially tailored Men’s only class, targeted at men who have undergone prostate cancer treatment (and are at least 6 weeks post-surgery), to improve strength, core stability and confidence.  A special emphasis will be placed on how to exercise and without stressing the pelvic floor…times TBA.

8am           New mums’ time-out
9am Womens’ Inner Strength         New Mums’ Time-out/ Mum &Bub
10am           Fit for 2
11am   Mum & Bub        
12pm Revive & Restore     Revive & Restore    
6pm   Fit for 2   Fit for 2    
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