What can I expect each week?
Each week you will receive a 30-45 minute video with the entire weekly exercise routine, postural training, body mechanics training, breathing training, and foundational core activation exercises. Videos include explanation and demonstration by Dr. DeSchaaf, DPT, and real-mom-models, as well as PDFs with detailed instructions for the exercises. The first 2 weeks are naturally less intense for the newly postpartum, newly exercising body. The exercises will build and progress each week, so it is vital that you diligently perform the basic exercises before progressing to harder ones. Each week you will receive an email with encouragement, educational modules (video or PDF) about postpartum and women’s health topics, and bonus exercises to try. You should also expect the exercises to FEEL easier each week; you should be able to do more repetitions with better form and technique as your body becomes stronger and more mobile. You should not expect to develop a 6-pack, nor should you expect to have any increase in pain or other symptoms.
What results should I expect by the end of the program?
Every woman’s body will heal differently during the postpartum period, for many reasons including hormones, specific birth story, breastfeeding choices, and lifestyle. Regardless of visible changes, by the end of the program you should have a solid understanding of how to activate your core during daily activities and exercise, and see improvement in abdominal separation, pain, and instability. You should be confident in self-assessing your own posture and technique during exercise, and you should be able to tell when you are ready to progress to harder exercises safely, both within the program and when you venture back into independent exercise. You should have a plan for a safe return to your desired sport, be it running, Crossfit, Pilates, soccer etc.
What if I just had my baby?
This program is generally safe to begin within days following childbirth, barring unusual complications. If you have any questions about whether the program is appropriate for you, consult your physician and contact Dr. Sheri DeSchaaf, DPT at email@example.com.
I have Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation). Is this course appropriate for me?
Yes! this program is designed to help prevent and heal DRA.
I have urine leakage. Is this program good for me?
Yes! This program is designed by a pelvic physiotherapist and expert in urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction. If you leak urine and more than 4 weeks postpartum, you should see a pelvic physical therapist for full assessment; but this program is a good place to start!
How long does the course last?
The program is designed to be completed in 6 weeks, starting in the first 1-2 weeks after childbirth. If you are following the plan with the recommended frequency, you should be ready to progress to the next step on time, completing the program by 6-8 weeks. However, mom life is unpredictable, and women’s bodies heal differently after giving birth, so if you need to progress more slowly please do so. You have access to the course for 6 months, which is plenty of time to work through all 6 levels – in fact you’ll probably have the exercises memorized by then!
What if I’ve been unable to comfortably exercise thus far?
This course is for you! This program is designed to rehabilitate even the most fragile postpartum body, giving you a solid foundation to prepare you for more aggressive exercise. We recommend seeing a pelvic PT and consulting your physician if you are following the program and have persistent pain.
What if my doctor has told me not to do “XYZ”?
This program is designed by a physical therapist specializing in postpartum care, and is generally safe to begin within days of giving birth. If there are specific exercises your doctor does not want you to do, be sure you ask and understand why those particular exercises are not good for your condition. If you have any increase in bleeding or pain, let your doctor know immediately and pause your exercises until you get clearance from your physician. You should consult your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen.
I’ve tried other methods already. What is unique about this one?
This program is designed by a doctor of physical therapy specializing in women’s health and postpartum rehabilitation. It is designed to reconnect you with your deep core and fundamental movement patterns, enabling you to function better and return to your desired activities, as well as educate you to prevent future complications. If you have tried online programs with poor results, an in-person consultation with a pelvic physical therapist for further diagnosis and individual treatment is recommended.
It has been a year or more since my baby was born and I haven’t lost the baby weight or been able to exercise with any regularity. Will I be able to participate in this course?
YES!! This program is designed with moms like YOU in mind. This program is appropriate for anyone who wants to exercise after a baby – especially if you have concerns about what is safe, or you aren’t getting the results you want with your current routine. But you need to be honest with yourself – your effort and commitment to exercising regularly will have a great impact on the degree of your success. I can give you the education, encouragement, and equipment to meet your goals, but you must be prepared to walk down the path and commit to following through.
Is there any equipment required for the course?
All you’ll need is:
-Email and internet access
-Enough floor space to lay down with your arms and legs outstretched
-A positive, persistent attitude!
We know that not all mothers have a gym membership or a home gym. Dr. DeSchaaf, DPT has done her best to use exercises that do not require any equipment that you couldn’t find around your home.
Is there a diet plan included?
As a physical therapist and pelvic specialist, Dr. DeSchaaf is an expert in postpartum exercise, muscle, bone and joint health, pelvic pain, bladder function and diastasis recti rehabilitation. While the program may give general nutrition and diet advice to promote postpartum tissue healing and energy, Dr. DeSchaaf is not a dietician, and this is not a diet and weight loss program. For specific meal plans or diet recommendations we recommend consulting a qualified dietician or postpartum nutrition specialist.
What is the refund policy?
We want you to be 100% satisfied with the program, and succeed in rebuilding your postpartum body. Our goal is for every woman who completes this program to finish with a stronger, more stable body that is able to handle all the demands of motherhood with energy and grace, and for you to have the knowledge and wisdom to continue your journey toward better health and fitness without injury. If you are dissatisfied with the program, please let us know in what way it did not deliver what was promised (within 14 days of purchase date), and a full refund will be issued.
I have no pain or bladder problems and I feel great – in fact I already started back to the gym. Do I still need this program?
Many women in their second pregnancy or long after pregnancy start to notice DRA, or after their second pregnancy have a much harder time getting their body back – either in terms of pain and instability or an exaggerated belly bulge that persists months or years longer than after their first baby. Many of these women went right back to their normal routine after baby number one, not realizing they needed to properly rehabilitate their core first. The information in this program is stuff that EVERY woman needs to know. It will help you fix problems, as well as prevent problems that may arise down the road, even into your golden years.
Will this course get my bikini body back by summer?
This is not a get-skinny-quick gimmick. As a physical therapist Dr. DeSchaaf is most concerned about the health, strength, and longevity of your body – not how quickly you shed the baby weight (by the way, some of that baby weight is necessary to feed and nourish your newborn!). Programs that promise to get your pre-baby-body back in weeks usually incorporate exercises that are not truly safe or beneficial for postpartum women who have not properly retrained the core muscles. We cannot promise you will look like a bikini model in 6 weeks. But if you follow the program you WILL feel stronger, more energetic, more toned, and you will have a strong core foundation that is ABLE to handle that beach-body-boot camp without injury when the time comes.
Why should I participate in this program instead of hiring a personal trainer or doing Pilates or Crossfit every week?
There are a lot of excellent trainers out there, and individual training with a postpartum physical therapist is the optimal way to recover. However, there are many trainers who do not fully understand postpartum healing, and may be prone to push women a little too hard, a little too fast. Postpartum rehabilitation and fitness training requires a high level of education on the repercussions of pregnancy and childbirth, along with careful, patient progression, and attention to detail and technique. It is hard to find a personal trainer who is well educated on postpartum healing, diastasis recti, or pelvic floor function, and impossible to get this sort of attention in any group fitness class. In a group setting, pride is prone to kick in and we find ourselves doing things we otherwise would not have done, just to keep up. This is not the safest or best way for a woman to rebuild her body after pregnancy. If you have access to a qualified postpartum physical therapist, we highly recommend investing in at least a few sessions, as their insight can be invaluable.This program was created for women who are unable to engage in personal sessions with a postpartum PT because of time, money, or distance. The intent is to provide a reasonable, affordable alternative to safely return to exercise.
What if I want additional help/coaching?
Dr. DeSchaaf offers remote coaching throughout the year. The VIP Package provides virtual coaching and a “guided tour” of the Mom Body Rehab Program with personal mentorship for those desiring maximum results and accountability. For either version, remote coaching is an excellent supplement or follow up to the online program if you want additional feedback on whether you are doing the exercises correctly, or if you have individual questions you would like to discuss. Remote coaching is offered via video chat so that Dr. DeSchaaf can observe your body – how you move, your posture, your mechanics and technique; this allows her to provide better input on correct exercise technique and whether additional treatment may be needed.
*The Mom Body Rehab program is currently available for residents of North America only