Yogi and physiotherapist, Rosie Dumbrell was frustrated with the lack of activewear available to new and breastfeeding mums, so she started her own label, Lenny Rose Active.
We spend 5 minutes with Rosie talking about postpartum exercise and her advice for new mums.
1. What was life for you before starting Lenny Rose Active?
Before LRA I was running a lovely yoga and pilates studio in Richmond and doing some work in physiotherapy, as well as mum to my first born, Lenny. I loved the business so much but was pregnant with my second, Raffie, and did not want to stress of a business heavily reliant on staff and complex timetabling when I couldn’t always step in and take up the slack myself.
So I sold Rise Yoga in 2018, in the midst of the start of product development with LRA. I'm still an avid yogi + fitness lover, but now teach online and more pre to postpartum specifically through our online membership, Rose Fit.
2. What was the inspiration behind the brand?
I was really frustrated with what was available to me as an active pregnant person- maternity apparel was either really poor quality and very ‘maternity’ in look and feel, or very ‘medical’ in nature and not practical or comfortable for everyday and active wearing. I strongly believe(d) that women deserved better- to be comfortable, supported, and look and feel their best throughout the motherhood journey, and so LRA was born!
3. What are the common issues/pains women experience with pregnancy?
Definitely pelvic and lower back pain, stress urinary incontinence is really common (up to 50 % in first time pregnancy experience leakage, closer to 70 % in 2nd/ more x Mums) leg pain + swelling, varicose veins.. it’s so glamorous!
Our garments are designed to assist posture, which means our deep core muscles and pelvic floor are in a better position to work well for us, and reduce the incidence of pain + leakage, we are also bringing out our new product lines with absorbency for those with more severe symptoms.
We also work closely with the Body Confident Collective, an NFP run by a group of amazing female researchers on body image with a focus on pregnancy + postpartum.
We know that women have heightened stress over body image during early pregnancy + in the 12 months after having a baby, so we're really focused on bringing real mums into our campaigns, showing body diversity + never photoshopping their beautiful bodies.
4. What are the most common postpartum issues and why is exercise so important?
Most women will have some degree of pelvic floor/ perineal trauma, particularly with a vaginal delivery; so symptoms of prolapse such as heaviness, pain, leakage from a mild to severe spectrum, as well as abdominal separation which resolves for 60% of women by about 8 weeks, whilst the remaining will need some rehabilitation. These symptoms can feed into how a woman feels about herself, operates socially and within her intimate partnership, so it’s really important to normalise bodily changes in postpartum, but also that we advocate for women to be looked after properly as most things can be treated.
Having a women’s health physio that you see postpartum + (and even in pregnancy to help you get ahead of what’s to come) is so key and I wish for every Mum to know this and have this service accessible and ideally subsidised, in France a woman receives a handful of government funded women’s health visits- Australia needs to come to the party!
Exercise is incredibly important- as targeted, appropriate exercise can help you to heal and recover, and general movements + getting out and about in the fresh air is really key for mental health.
5. If you could give one new mama a piece of advice, what would it be?
I think I gave it away before- making a relationship with a women’s health physio in pregnancy and getting the right advice so you can stay active in pregnancy and recover optimally postpartum- this all just has such a flow in effect to how we feel about ourselves.
Probably over and above this is the notion that in motherhood we want to look to ‘bounce forward’ not ‘bounce back’ and embrace a new, changed version of ourselves with the same kindness + respect we would give our children, our fellow mama friends.