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“Rückbildungs”course a Report on Lornas Experience

“Rückbildungs”course a Report on Lornas Experience

Lorna visited a ‘Rückbildungs’ course and would like to share her experience with you.

There is no concise, direct translation of the word ‘Rückbildung’. According to a popular online dictionary, the medical term is ‘remission’, which doesn’t really work either. In any case, ‘Rückbildungsgymnastik’ is a midwife-led, post-partum exercise class, aimed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and increase your post-pregnancy muscle tone. This should definitely be taken advantage of by every new mum to avoid future complications such as incontinence.

In Germany, this is considered as only sensible and thus the cost is covered by all health insurance providers. The course is paid by both private and public insurance, which is a fantastic thing! Before you book, ask your insurer which courses are recognised by insurance providers.

The postnatal exercise classes are designed to:

  • Activate and strengthen the pelvic floor, stomach and back muscles
  • Relax and stretch the body
  • Increase stamina
  • Increase bloodflow to the pelvic floor, which in turn accelerates the healing process of an episiotomy, for example
  • Prevent back pain, incontinence and prolapse of the uterus
  • Increase general wellbeing

Because Lewis was born by emergency cesarean, I started my Rückbildung class when he was twelve weeks, a little later than the usual six weeks following an uncomplicated vaginal birth. My choice of place and time was purely based on the convenience of the location (5 mins walk from my home) and the fact that I already knew the midwife running the course from my previous pregnancy. The class was in German.

Sitting on mats around the room, we introduced ourselves and our babies and the midwife came around and checked how far apart our abdominal muscles still were, which is important in detecting any potential longer-term issues (such as diastasis recti, which needs to be treated). This was followed by a warmup, which we were informed would be stepped up over the eight-week course (along with the other exercises we were about to learn). We subsequently worked on all of the main muscle groups (and on some muscle groups I’d forgotten existed but felt the following day!), including our pelvic floor. Even as an ‘old hand’, the thought of ‘clapping my labia’ makes me chuckle like an eight-year-old. (Yes, that was one of the exercises!) However, when everyone else is unsmilingly concentrating on doing this, one must control ones’ inner child and simply join in with the applause.

For the last half-hour of the class, there was time to relax, drink a cup of tea or water and address any relevant concerns or burning questions with the midwife. That was very likely my favourite part of the class. I do enjoy exercising my jaw….

If you need help finding a Rückbildung class in English, contact Lorna by email: lorna.ather@maternita.de

More information about post partum exercise here.
Here you can find some exercises to try at home.

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Lorna Ather Maternity Concierge & Baby Planner

Ulrike Käfer & Inga Sarrazin GbR, “maternita”

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