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Our postpartum rehab program

poster for Restore Postpartum Rehab Program showing mama and baby exercising together

Next week, the 4-week trial of our free postpartum rehab program will begin in Chester Basin, NS. This program will offer women at diverse stages of postpartum recovery a free, physiotherapist-led program of pelvic floor/core muscle, cardio, and functional strengthening exercise. Importantly, it will also provide free childcare for toddlers. Women are encouraged to bring babies to the class. The trial program will include 15 mothers, 9 babies ranging in age from 2-11 months, and 5 toddlers ranging in age from 2-4 years. The program reached capacity within two weeks of registration opening, and currently has a waitlist. Once the trial ends, we plan to launch a 10-week version of the program in Spring 2024.

For the exercise component of the Restore Program, participants will learn about the pelvic floor and core muscles, common postpartum recovery challenges, and general recovery strategies. They will have an opportunity to practice pelvic floor and core muscle exercises in isolation, and during functional activities like lifting and jumping. They will learn functional strengthening exercises focused on the occupational demands of motherhood (e.g. chasing, jumping, lifting, carrying), including strategies for doing these exercises as fun activities with their kiddos. They will learn cardio exercise strategies, and will spend roughly half of each class doing this, in an effort to support not just general physical health, but postpartum mental health as well.

After the one hour exercise class, mothers will have 30 minutes to socialize without their kiddos present - another program component designed to support postpartum mental health.

While mamas and babies are at the exercise class, toddlers of participants will participate in outdoor, forest school childcare led by Wild Wonders Forest School. This provides a healthy opportunity for children to be active and socialize while their mothers do the same.

We wish to thank Our Health Centre in Chester, NS, for funding and supporting this free program. It's wonderful to see this investment in primary health care and maternal health. We are honoured to be part of the program.

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