What is a Mummy MOT and who needs one?
A Mummy MOT is a comprehensive, specialist postnatal examination for mums anytime from six weeks, following a vaginal or caesarean delivery. This check-up can help women address any issues or concerns they have following delivery, assess their recovery and get new mums on the road to fitness.
Giving birth is an endurance test that requires a massive amount of mental and physical effort. While birth is a natural process, labour and delivery take a massive toll on our bodies. So it’s important that women have a full assessment from 6 weeks onwards following birth. And there’s no expiry date. If you’re experiencing any issues even a year or more after childbirth, a Mummy MOT can help.
Up to half of all women experience weakness in both the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy and up to a third still have diastasis recti or tummy gap at eight weeks post-birth. Weakened abdominal muscles or pelvic floor muscles can cause instability or poor core strength that can lead to women developing pelvic pain or bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. The most common postnatal issues women experience are prolapse symptoms, which are akin to heaviness and dragging, pelvic floor weakness, and urinary incontinence.
The Mummy MOT checks posture, breathing, tummy gap, pelvic floor, and functional movement. Mums are also screened for any ongoing postnatal conditions they may have such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, pelvic girdle pain, and tummy gap. A report is given on the day alongside a bespoke postnatal recovery programme designed especially for the mum, her lifestyle, and fitness goals, including specific and safe postnatal exercises to regain stability and optimum function.
Maria Elliott is the founder of The Mummy MOT and a global leader in pelvic pain and postnatal physiotherapy. She says: “Women often weaken their pelvic floor after a natural delivery. The pelvic floor needs to be strengthened and rehabilitated like any other muscle after injury or being overstretched. Our Mummy MOT practitioners access and reeducate the pelvic floor to regain normal function, allowing mums to return to normal activity and sport.”
“Most women don’t want to talk to anyone about postnatal issues, but the important point is that they are treatable.”
Who needs a Mummy MOT?
All new mums need a Mummy MOT. The goal is to check the mum’s posture, pelvic floor, and how they’re moving after birth. We want to help mums return to whatever activities or sports they loved doing beforehand without any postnatal complications. It’s upsetting for mums when they can’t enjoy the active life they had before having a baby. As Maria says: ‘The worst thing for prolapse is to not move’.
What happens during a Mummy MOT?
We begin with a chat. We discuss how her pregnancy went and how she’s been feeling since the delivery, then we look at posture, movement, tummy gap and pelvic floor. Then we start their rehab program. We see mums from six weeks, and we follow them up to about 20 weeks, so that when mums get back to work and when they return to sport, they’re ready and not having any pain or bladder concerns or issues.
The Mummy MOT includes:
- One-hour postnatal assessment with a specialist postnatal health physiotherapist.
- In-depth of pelvic floor strength and tummy gap.
- Assessment of any physical problems from pregnancy and birth.
- A bespoke postnatal recovery programme devised especially for the mum.
Maria’s mission in designing the Mummy MOT is that women’s postnatal issues are resolved or fixed before returning to their normal lives. She recommends that mums book their Mummy MOT between six and eight weeks for a vaginal delivery and before 12 weeks for a caesarean. Maria’s message is simple: ‘Postnatal rehab works’.
What some mums are saying about the Mummy MOT.
It’s amazing. They were able to take one look at my body and say ‘right, this is the problem, this is what’s going on and this is what you need to do.Reality star and model, Amy Willerton.
I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so important. It’s awful to hear mums say they can’t go running anymore after having a baby. Your health is so important and I will definitely be having another Mummy MOT after my second baby.Model and presenter, Vogue Williams
I had everything checked. From my breathing – when you are pregnant your diaphragm moves – my posture, my balance, my hip alignment. I had an internal to check my pelvic floor was good and things are still where they needed to be. I do think every single mum would benefit from it because I have learned things I didn’t even know or didn’t think about being pregnant. Really recommend it.Radio host, Gemma Atkinson.