After sailing through my first pregnancy 3 years ago, I thought that my second one would go pretty much the same way.

39 weeks into pregnancy Number 2 I can say I was wrong.

There could be a lot of reasons that this time my experience has been completely different than the first, but one of the biggest is that I now have a two and a half year-old little girl to chase around and occupy my time.

When I was pregnant for her, I was able to work out and stay strong and fit right until I had her.  I read everything I could to better prepare myself and my mind for this new experience that my body and our family was about to undertake. I learned all there was to know about breastfeeding.  I did all of the recommended stretches. I had the nursery complete and everything in place as soon as we found out we were having a girl.

I was ready!

I was able to work full time in my job as a Physical Therapist with no pain or issues until my delivery.

Because of my profession, I have had the opportunity to work with women during their pregnancies for the past 10 years.  My job has awarded me the wonderful opportunity to learn everything I can about what happens to our bodies during and after our pregnancies and how to encourage and promote a healthy, pain-free pregnancy for all Moms expecting little ones.

One of the most important areas that I have learned to help Moms with is the phase after pregnancy.  This time immediately after our delivery is referred to as the Fourth Trimester or the Postpartum recovery stage.  This is arguably one of the most important times in our lives as women having gone through pregnancy and delivery.

So, I was completely at a loss when even after taking every precaution and doing everything to prevent it, I developed diastasis recti during my first pregnancy.  (Stay tuned for more information on this in the coming weeks!)

Many of you have probably never heard of this, but it is basically a separation of your belly muscles.

If you have heard of this before, you have probably thought or been told that there isn’t anything that you can really do about it.

The good news is that you actually can recover from it!

As soon as I was able, I started the recovery process the help my body heal from the diastasis recti that I had developed.

The thing is though that it can return during subsequent pregnancies.

So, this time around I developed it much sooner than I did during my previous pregnancy, even though I did take all of the precautions to prevent it.

I began to experience back, pelvic, and hip pain very early on in my second trimester.  This was completely new to me.  I never really had issues before and I pretty much brushed them off and kept working and doing what a Mom does…..putting everyone and everything else before herself.

It would get to a point to where when I would get home from work, I could barely get out of my car or I would not be able to get up from a chair after I sat down to eat with my family.

You would think that of all people, I would know how important it is to address these things.  And, I do know how important it is.  My job is to encourage people to live a healthy, pain-free life!  I just never took the time to heed my own advice.  I kept brushing my own health and well being off because I didn’t feel that I had the time to see about it.

I knew what needed to be done, and I knew that I would feel better for doing it….I just never made myself a priority.

My business partner and fellow PT, Katherine, finally had to force me to stop and allow her to perform an assessment and begin treatment for my pregnancy related issues.  It wasn’t long after she required me to take time to care of myself, I soon began to experience relief and feel like myself again.

I no longer cringed when I thought about getting up from a chair, walking across the room, or even picking up my little girl.

Now, I have the necessary tools and support to actually make it through a day without pelvic and hip pain stopping me from enjoying my day at work and with my family.

So, I want to encourage all Moms out there to not brush their health off.

Hip, back, and pelvic pain are very common during pregnancy, but the good news is they don’t have to be.

Many women find relief quickly with a few simple solutions that can make a huge difference in your life during your pregnancy.  All we have to do is just take a step to get ourselves assessed and get the right plan put into place to get back to enjoying life again.

Just remember that you and your health are important, and we are much better Mommas when we are taken care of and are feeling our best.

We have so much more to give to others when we take the time to fill ourselves!