WNiF Magazine - Autumn 2018 Edition | Page 16

By Jen Dugard YOUR MUM CLIENT PRE-EXERCISE SCREENING A s with all clients, it’s important to complete a pre- exercise questionnaire. When working with pregnant, postnatal and ‘mum’ clients in general, I believe it is even more important to do so. From experience, many pre-exercise questionnaires only ask if a woman has had a baby in the last 6 months and often don’t go into any more depth. As a pre/postnatal or ‘mum’ specialist, my belief is that we need to be asking more in-depth questions to mums with children of any age. Our first session and assessment is an opportunity to get to know each other, ensure I have a full and complete picture of where she is right now, and for me to take the time to understand her aims and aspirations. Getting started with any kind of exercise program can be daunting, especially if there has been a long gap in between 16 physical activity. For that reason, your must aim to never overdo it. In fact, your client should walk away from her session thinking it was a little too easy. Trust me, making your first session too difficult greater reduces your chances of them coming back. There is plenty of time for you to increase their effort and intensity. For your postnatal mum: What kind of birth did they have? Caesarean birth: • Ask about scarring or pain. • If your client still has pain, ask if they have spoken to a healthcare professional about it. Suggest mentioning it next time they are there with their baby and monitor it. • Do they have full sensation back at the scar site? Guide on technique, support on effort, measure on reaction, set goals on feedback and always be professional Let’s take a look at what should be on your medical pre-exercise questionnaire: Natural birth: If they are pregnant: • Ask your client about their second stage of delivery - the pushing stage. If it was long. If it was 45 minutes or more, then there has been excessive downward pressure on their pelvic floor. This highlights that there may be a weakness to watch out for. • Ask your client about tearing and/or episiotomy and if they had stitches. If yes, to what degree (they may or may not know)? Ask how they are healing and discuss any pain during the session. How many weeks pregnant? Remember it is important not to train your client lying flat on her back after her first trimester. Do they have a history of miscarriage or did they undergo IVF to fall pregnant? If your client has a history of miscarriage or has undergone IVF she will most likely have guidelines around exercise from her medical professional. It’s always a good idea to consult with her care team and stick within their guidelines to be on the safe-side. WHAT’S NEW IN FITNESS - AUTUMN 2018