Training During Pregnancy: Prevent Postpartum Back Pain

Sarah Barker first started training with Aspen Coaching shortly after the birth of her second child. It was after a taxing pregnancy that she was experiencing a fair amount of postpartum back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. This was causing a persistent discomfort carrying out the simplest of everyday tasks.

Seeking relief for her pain, Sarah was referred to Aspen through her Osteopath, Robert De Maio, and began training with Aspen’s Emma Robson not long after.

The cause of Sarah’s post-pregnancy pain mainly stemmed from the common imbalances that result after a pregnancy.

After just weeks, Sarah’s pain had diminished, giving her the ability to go about her daily life without the burden of constant discomfort.

Despite solving the problem she had initially set out to address, Sarah proceeded to work closely with both Emma and Rob for the years that would follow; continuing to develop strength, mobility, and a deeper understanding her body.

Sarah had discovered that the positive impact of training with Emma extended well beyond the initial goal of treating her pain, and inadvertently improved other aspects of Sarah’s life too, making these sessions a great companion to the commotion of everyday life (and motherhood!)


Training Balance During Pregnancy
Sarah squats while balancing on a rail one week before giving birth.


In late 2017, Sarah announced that she was pregnant with her third child!

Among the excitement was an ounce of worry for Sarah. She had expressed her concern about repeating the past. Emma reassured her that as long as they stayed attentive the changes that the body is experiencing during this time, Sarah should be able to avoid the aches and pains that plagued her previously.

This would be achieved by simply maintaining the movement practice that Sarah was already familiar with, primarily focusing on balance and strength; something Sarah had understandably neglected to address throughout her previous two pregnancies.

In addition to Emma’s sessions, Sarah continued to see her Osteopath. Robert would provide Sarah with the manual therapy Osteopaths are known for, including the release of any skeletal and muscular tension that Sarah would potentially experience. Details from these appointments would be communicated to Emma, which in turn would help shape and guide the subsequent movement sessions.

Having built a relationship with West Perth Osteopathy and their practitioners over the years, our ability to work collaboratively with them to ensure a refined and efficient resolve is something Sarah has come to be familiar with throughout the duration of our relationship with her.

As Sarah’s pregnancy progressed, Emma would slowly adapt these now prenatal training sessions to accomodate the changes that Sarah’s body was going through during each particular period; taking into account Sarah’s hormones, sleep, and mood.


Prenatal training session at Aspen Coaching
Emma guides Sarah through a series of movements intended to relieve tension during pregnancy.


With consistency being of great importance, Sarah attended every one of her sessions up to the very day she gave birth. Just hours after her session on July 24th, she would go into labour, giving birth to Georgia, a healthy baby girl.

Funnily enough, Emma passed a comment to Sarah earlier that day, saying that she was moving a little differently, and making a prediction that she would go into labour that afternoon. Turns out, she was right!


It’s all smiles with Sarah and Emma after a training session!


“It’s been 2 months since Georgia arrived and my body is still pain free despite the physical demands of having a newborn (not to mention the heavy toddler who wants to be carried around). All the issues I had after the birth of my first two children seem like a distant memory and the pain in my upper back, neck and shoulders has no sign of returning!”

Sarah’s effort to remain consistent with her training meant she need not repeat the aches and pains she had experienced during and after her previous pregnancies. The ability to communicate closely with both Emma and Robert was a perfectly fitting recipe for this scenario.

“Training with Emma not only has my body physically stronger and balanced post-partum, it has also given me the body awareness and the tools I need to counteract the physical strain of constantly being in that forward loaded position that all motherhood duties require.”

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