Two months ago, Etonia (a physiotherapy centre for pregnant women, based in Singapore) invited me to review its BellyFit™ programme.
Before agreeing to the review, I thought about my existing concerns:
- During pregnancy, I experienced severe aches on my left hip. It was so bad that I’d to wear a strong maternity support belt whenever I went outdoors. Climbing the stairs at home was a major torture.
- This situation was probably worsened by my slightly curved spine (scoliosis).
- After delivering Vee (a big baby for my petite size), my tummy muscles were overstretched. Even after reaching my pre-pregnancy weight quite easily with breastfeeding, it seemed impossible to regain a flat tummy. (I used to be a sports player with super-toned abs, and definitely miss those times.)
I seemed to be the perfect candidate to try out BellyFit™.
Before accepting the review, I read up on Etonia and its services. The educational background and professional experience of the physiotherapists (read their profiles here) convinced me that this is the right place to visit for help.
About BellyFit™ Programme
The 1-hour personal BellyFit™ assessment and exercise session is one of the services that Etonia provides. BellyFit™ offers tailored one-to-one session to assist in correcting pregnancy-related musculoskeletal problems (be it prenatal or postnatal) through specific exercises. Once the client is able to perform exercises well without substitutions and without pain, she will be recommended to join the BellyFit™ class. This BellyFit™ class is usually more for prenatal women; postnatal women are usually referred to the Core Fundamentals classes.
If the individual already has some form of pain, she will usually be treated first, before any commencement of the exercise session.
Even though I was in Kuala Lumpur, Cheryl (head of the Etonia division) efficiently confirmed the time and venue of my review session via email. My Singapore trip would be very short, I’d to arrange for someone to babysit Vee, and I could reserve only 1 time slot for the session. Thankfully, Cheryl could accommodate my time well and she started the session rather on time (I only had to wait for 5 minutes). She’s a very cheerful lady, who made me feel at ease on my first physiotherapy session.
The clinic at Novena Square is right in front of a lift, and easy to find. The treatment and exercise rooms are small and clean, just the right size for a personal session. Group classes are held at the larger clinics at Tras Street and Orchard.
My Experience with BellyFit™
(a) Explaining Common Pelvic Pains
Cheryl explained 2 common pelvic pains to me: PPP (Posterior Pelvic Pain) and SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction). After that, I was quite certain that my severe ache during pregnancy was PPP. You may download the patient education brochures (in PDF format) at: PPP and SPD.
(b) Analysing My Concerns
Then, I described my concerns mentioned above to Cheryl. She checked my scoliosis curvature and overstretched tummy muscles. The gap between the muscles that meet over my tummy was still 3 fingers!!! In fact, after delivering Vee, my gap was almost 5 fingers and I’d to walk around with a tummy belt for support. This condition is known as diastasis rectus abdominus. To check your own tummy muscles, read the steps at babycenter.co.uk.
(c) Recommending Exercises
To target my overstretched tummy muscles, Cheryl recommended a few simple exercises and showed me clearly how to do them:
- Kegel (pelvic floor exercise): She checked the way I do Kegel, and concluded that I could hold well up to 4 seconds. She suggested that I concentrate more on the horizontal muscles across the front of my uterus and target to hold up to 10 seconds.
- Pelvic Tilts
- Supine Marching
After practising the exercises at the clinic, my “gap” was down to 2-fingers width. Cheryl said this is due to my muscles being activated again. My goal is to reduce the gap to 1-finger width.
As for scoliosis, I’d to shift my weight more to the left, push my left hip down, and rotate my left side backwards. She corrected the way I walk, advising that I shift some of my body weight away from my right foot.
Just before the session ended, I told her that my knee joints tended to click when I move from a squatting to standing position. (This happened many times a day when taking care of Vee. Just think about potty-time, changing diapers, picking up trails of toys, etc.) She advised me to strengthen my thighs and use my thigh muscles instead. Otherwise, I could face degeneration of my knee joints.
(d) After the Session
For the past 2 months, I’ve been practising Kegel exercise, correcting my scoliosis alignment, putting my weight on both feet, and avoiding clicking of my knee joints. I certainly feel improvement in my Kegel, holding for longer than 4 seconds. The occasional aches on my knee joints are also gone.
Shortly after the session, I became unwell for many weeks, so did not practise the Pelvic Tilts and Supine Marching. From now on, I’d need to dedicate 10 minutes daily for the exercises. It’d take 4-6 weeks to see the results.
The session was very informative and professional, with effective follow-up exercises that I can easily repeat at home. I feel at ease under the care of a professional physiotherapist specialising in pre- and post-natal concerns. If I’d knew of BellyFit™ earlier, I’d have tried it during pregnancy and after delivering Vee. This would have alleviated my severe aches and improved my overstretched tummy muscles.
BellyFit™ sessions are priced at S$135 (personal), and S$300 for a set of 6 sessions. Each treatment session costs S$90. The rates are very reasonable since I used to pay S$100 per hour for private Pilates sessions.
What I like about it:
- Detailed analysis of my concerns, with personalised actions to take
- Prudent recommendations — to let my body improve before trying more challenging exercises
- Clear and patient explanation
What can be improved:
- Overall, I was very satisfied with the professionalism of the session. If I’d to be extra picky, then perhaps start the session on time (I waited for only 5 minutes though), and set up a branch in Kuala Lumpur (where I’m residing now).
Win Your Own
TWO (2) lucky subscribers will win a BellyFit™ personal class worth SGD135 each! Winners would attend the BellyFit™ class in one of Etonia’s clinics in Singapore (at Novena Square, Tras Street or Parkway Parade).
This is how to participate:
- Send an email to me (MieVee [at] MummysReviews.com) with the following information:
- Method of subscription: in a reader or via email
- Your name
- Your name in Facebook (to get extra entry mentioned below)
- Visit Etonia and tell me (in your email) why you would like to win a free BellyFit™ class
- If you are a new reader, mention how you got to know of this Giveaway
- Blog / Website URL, if any (to get extra entries mentioned below, indicate URL of your exact post)
- To get EXTRA entries:
- 1 extra entry: “Like” Mummy’s Reviews™ Facebook page (existing fans counted)
- 1 extra entry (unlimited total): For each participant referred by you (e.g. through sharing the Giveaway on Facebook / Twitter / email)
- 3 extra entries: Share this Giveaway on your blog / website
- This Giveaway is open to subscribers who reside in Singapore.
- It will run until 31 December 2010.
- The usual Giveaway Terms apply.
Send in your entries now and good luck!
Get Your Own (with Discount!)
To get your own BellyFit™ class or treatment session, visit Etonia.
- Special Treat: 10% discount on physiotherapy treatment for pre- and post-natal women
- Discount Code: ETONIAJOY
- Validity Period: Until 31 January 2011
Disclosure: I received a 1-hour personal BellyFit™ assessment and exercise session for review.