Episode 004: Healing Postpartum with Celeste Goodsen
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MEET OUR GUEST:
Celeste Goodson is a Pre and Post-Natal Trainer with a Bachelors in Science. in Fitness and Wellness Management and has worked in physical therapy, cardiac rehab, coached high school X-C, and worked in numerous fitness and aquatic settings over the last 15 years. In 2005, Celeste became certified through ACE as a Medical Exercise Specialist, certifying her to personal train Pre/Postnatal women and those with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and metabolic conditions cleared by physicians. Celeste has worked with elite athletes to professional singers.
Due to personal experience dealing with diastasis and mild prolapse and working with other women, Celeste realized the need for specific prep and core reconditioning after childbirth to help women avoid issues down the line such as diastasis recti, lower back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, hip instability, posture issues etc… Simply going back to the gym routine is not sufficient enough to re-strengthen the Inner Core System (pelvic floor, transverse abs, diaphragm, and multifidus) which can put undo pressure on a weak inner core system. In 2010 Celeste developed the ReCORE program and also designed the FITsplint (Maternity and Post-Natal) to help women protect and/or splint their core when needed. Celeste believes that while pregnancy is a natural and amazing process, the muscles and ligaments have been stretched, strained and weakened. Women should know that they can avoid and fix many of the common issues associated with pregnancy by correct core strengthening/stretching exercises, proper alignment and splinting.
Celeste and her husband Josh have 3 children. She enjoys reading up on women’s health research, taking women’s health education courses for her CEC’s, running, and playing just about any sport. Celeste is a Boston Marathon runner and understands the desire for women to stay as fit as possible during pregnancy, get their core strength back and return to their exercise of choice injury and symptom-free.
WHERE TO FIND CELESTE ONLINE:
Transition to Motherhood:
- Celeste and her husband had their first child in 2004 and, at that time, she had been a trainer and had worked in physical therapy. She initially learned about ways to strengthen the core postpartum but she felt it was too general and basic.
- During her second child, she started doing pre and postnatal classes that taught women how to move and care for their bodies during pregnancy and after.
- Because of some medical issues she had gone through after her pregnancy, Celeste started to develop a program that teaches about core strengthening which has grown into what ReCore Fitness is today.
- “I strongly believed that women need to take the time to recondition their core well postpartum.” – Celeste Goodson ([08:50])
Celeste shares her thoughts about running, strengthening, and healing:
- According to Celeste, doing a high impact exercise like running during postpartum can be harmful if done too soon or without the right physical support. If the muscle and tissues have not been able to strengthen and shorten like they should, those tissues will stretch out more.
- She added that genetics can play a part in healing, how some women recover, and how much the tissue stretches. Also, strengthening can play a big part as well.
- She explains the muscles in the inner core and how it can be affected during pregnancy.
- Celeste encourages walking postpartum and to start gradually.
- She educates women regarding the core and how it is usually weak and deconditioned postpartum. A common example is an abdominal separation – also known as “Diastasis Recti.”
- For Celeste, it’s never too late to get the strength and coordination back. Sometimes the longer it has been, the more challenging it is to get the tissue to respond but it can always be healed further. Even if you can’t get the tissue to shorten, a lot of times you can get the muscles strong and coordinated enough that it can be functional again.
- She mentioned that women don’t have to be restricted for the rest of your life as long as they strengthen, coordinate, and gradually work yourself up, follow some basic guidelines.
- Celeste shares about her functional diastasis.
Defining Diastasis Recti:
- Some people may call it abdominal separation and that just means the tissue has stretched out a little bit. If it’s more than 3 finger widths wide, then it’s classified as Diastasis Recti. It’s the tissue down the middle of your core, in between your abdominals and near your belly button. It’s not an actual hole but it’s just the tissue stretching to accommodate pregnancy.
- 100% of women experience abdominal separation during pregnancy but the degree and rate of healing depend on genetics and strengthening.
Celeste shares about her Program:
- ReCore is for anyone postpartum whether they have Diastasis Recti or not. It’s about getting the core stable and stronger, and this prepares women for more vigorous exercise. It’s not about the abs separation but it’s about safely reconditioning the core in general.
Notable change in the Medical Community
- Celeste shares her hopes about having a positive impact and notable awareness in the medical community like the OB, physical therapist and doctors regarding the importance of strengthening the core postpartum.
“I really do feel that women should just be automatically sent to a pelvic floor therapist postpartum. They are the ones who can assess and make sure that you don’t have any tearing or pelvic injury.”
Celeste’s Advice about doing a healthy exercise post-partum:
- “If your core can’t engage and stay controlled during exercise, then you’re not just strong enough to do it.” (27: 35)
- Classic sit -ups are not recommended postpartum or during pregnancy as they will worsen abdominal separation.
- If you have Diastasis Recti, she recommends splinting for about 4-6 weeks and then strengthening the inner core.
- She believes that using splinting postpartum can greatly help mothers doing pelvic exercises postpartum as it seems to speed the process along.
- She recommends wearing it for support during pregnancy especially when you’re active to reduce stress on the tissue.
- Wear support postpartum for about 4-6 weeks.
Celeste talks about any symptoms women need to take note of and to consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist
- Incontinence issues
- Any heaviness feeling down low.
- If you sit-up and you see bulging down your abdominal midline, that’s a sign that the tissue is stretched out.
For Celeste, her approach is to be proactive. Keep the core strong during pregnancy and recondition it postpartum to avoid injury and issues in the future.
Referenced in the Show:
FITsplint (Maternity and Postnatal)
The Postnatal ReCORE Online Training Program