Maintaining one’s health is neither linear nor simple. It’s multifaceted and has to be nurtured in many ways. As moms, our well-being often gets relegated and put second to those we love. The practices that help us stay healthy are often positioned as expensive, time-consuming, and therefore unrealistic and unattainable. But knowledge is power, and at Every Mother, we believe all women deserve access to the tools to care for themselves, which ultimately help them—help you—feel empowered and at your best.
Women’s health topics are expansive and often overwhelming, so we collected a growing list of resources to support your overall wellness journey for every season of life: prenatal, postpartum, and beyond.
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that for those who can, aim to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. This can be broken up throughout the day and accomplished with a range of activities: walking, jogging, yoga, strength training, dancing to a favorite song, or sneaking in an express Every Mother workout (for when all you have is 10 minutes). These are all effective forms of physical activity, even around the house, while playing and spending time with our kids.
Moms are often crunched for time, so we created a scalable program that achieves measurable results in as little as 10-30 minutes a day. Here are a few guides to help you maintain physical fitness and to learn more about Every Mother.
- What’s the Best Prenatal Workout Program?
- How to Fix Diastasis Recti with Exercise At Home, No Surgery Required
- Surpass: The Best At-Home Workout for Moms
Diet and Hydration
It goes without saying that a nutritious diet and water do wonders for both the body and mind. They are the key to keeping the cells and organs working, your skin and hair healthy, fighting illness, and improving your mood, sleep, and sense of balance. Here are some guides to help integrate them into daily life.
Sleep is a crucial part of overall health. It allows the body to heal and replenish, helps to manage pain, regulates hormones, and gives us the energy we need to take on motherhood. But we know first hand that it’s not so easy to get, especially with a newborn or young children. Here is Jordan Mrosewske, PT, DPT, suggestions on how to improve your sleep quality at any stage of motherhood.
- Do not eat or drink within 2 hours of bed.
- Do not smoke, have caffeine, or alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime.
- Limit computer, video games, T.V., and phone use right before bed – blue light has been found to suppress the production of melatonin which interferes with sleep.
- Keep sleep and wake times as consistent as possible.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.
- Use audio experiences to help you sleep, such as sounds, music, and stories – Matthew McConaughey can read to you at night. It’s wonderful!”
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
Excerpt from A Pelvic Floor P.T.’s Guide to Overactive Pelvic Floor Muscles read more here.
In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Preventions, they found that 1 in 10 women in the U.S. experience symptoms of depression, and 1 in 8 experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Mental health is critical to our well-being yet often goes undiscussed due to the stigma attached to it and unchecked due to the lack of accessible and affordable care. But the world is changing, and there are plenty of new and emerging virtual, in-person, paid, and accessible care solutions. Here are a few resources that provide advice and guidance to support your mental health.
- Motherhood & Mental Health: A Guide for Finding Balance
- Postpartum Recovery & Mental Health with Expert Jada Shapiro
- How to Support Mental Health in Challenging Times: Advice From Real Moms
Let’s just be honest: Sex is important. Women of every stage of life are deserving of a healthy and pleasurable sex life, and studies show that the benefits are substantial. These include “lower blood pressure, better immune system, better heart health, improved self-esteem, decreased depression and anxiety, immediate, natural pain relief, better sleep, increased intimacy and closeness to a sexual partner, overall stress reduction, both physiologically and emotional” [Source: OHSU Center for Women’s Health].
For pregnant and postpartum women, sex can become more complicated. Here are two resources to support you during those times.
Pelvic Floor Health
The pelvic floor is an important topic to include when discussing birth preparation and postpartum recovery. Your pelvic floor supports your bladder, uterus, bowels and is responsible for spine health and general wellbeing. Pregnancy and childbirth can cause injury and strain to the pelvic floor resulting in back pain, incontinence, and more. Here is a list of expert articles to support your pelvic health.
- A Resource Guide for Pelvic Floor Health
- Pelvic Floor Therapy: What to Expect Postpartum
- A Pelvic Floor P.T.’s Guide to Overactive Pelvic Floor Muscles
Growing a human is no easy process, and one way to enhance prenatal health is with exercise. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends expectant mothers who are approved to exercise get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. Our OB-endorsed, trimester-specific fitness regimens are designed to help you feel your best during pregnancy. They’ll help reduce common problems such as back pain and incontinence, and improve push muscles for an empowered birth in as little as 10-30 minutes a day. Here are some resources that support prenatal health.
- Kegels Exercise for Pregnancy
- Relax the Pelvic Door for a Safer, Easier Birth
- What is the Best Prenatal Cardio Exercise?
Motherhood pushes our bodies to new limits, all of which should be honored. And many of the changes, both physical and mental, take time to process and accept. Therapeutic experience is an effective tool that supports and, in many cases, speeds up postpartum recovery. Our EMbody Reclaim program is designed to help you restore core strength and function, resolve diastasis recti, and improve mood and mental health. In addition, postpartum women can benefit from professional and/or community support (virtual or in-person), diet, and rest. Here are some expert guides on postpartum recovery and care.
- Postpartum Recovery Tips: A Self-Care Guide
- The Six Week Gap: Doulas, Postpartum Tips for Recovery & Self-Care
- The Science Behind Every Mother and Why It’s So Effective for Postpartum Recovery
Surgical Recovery & C-Sections
Nearly 32% of women in the United States deliver by C-section, and there is a lot of misinformation about recovery timelines and methods—from scar care to returning to physical activity and adjacent conditions like diastasis recti, which is often the source of lingering back pain, pelvic floor dysfunctions, incontinence, and more. Every woman’s experience is unique, and we wanted to break through the noise by providing expert guidance and support in the earliest days following abdominal surgery (including umbilical hernia repair). This prompted us to launch our EMbody Surgical Recovery Path to help women heal, recover, and regain strength (less than six weeks postpartum) through therapeutic core activations and movements.
Here are a few additional resources to support your C-section recovery.
- C-Section Recovery & Diastasis Recti
- Exercises to Avoid After a C-Section
- Scar Tissue Massage: How to Relieve Discomfort Postpartum
Core Health & Diastasis Recti
Over 60% of childbearing women experience some degree of diastasis recti and live with symptoms like lower back pain, constipation, pelvic floor dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and abdominal weakness. The good news, you can resolve diastasis recti with exercise, regardless of how long it’s been since you became a mother. Here are some resources to learn more about diastasis recti.
- “What is diastasis recti?” An Interview with OB/GYN Dr. Jaqueline Worth
- How to Check for Diastasis Recti on Your Own
- Is Your Workout Causing Diastasis Recti?
At Every Mother, our mission is to support women’s health from the inside out. We strive to empower both our members and greater community with the knowledge to advocate for their health at every stage of life. Join Every Mother to gain access to our robust research-based exercise programming, the latest resources on prenatal and postpartum fitness on EMpower, our private community of mothers, and experts in the prenatal and postpartum space.
Every Mother unlocks a scientifically proven method to strengthen the body during pregnancy and rebuild it after birth, regardless of how long it has been since you became a mother. We’re a knowledge circle, a community, and a celebration— of the mother you’ve become, and the woman you’ve been all along. Learn more about the EMbody Program™ here.