057 – Nina Theodorsen – Is Whole-Body, Functional Exercise During Pregnancy Going To Make Diastasis Worse

In this episode, we talk to Nina Theodorsen, a Norwegian women’s health and pelvic floor physiotherapist, who works in a private clinic and is doing a PhD at University of Bergen. Nina has done extensive research on the effect of exercises on DRA during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Her long clinical experience affects her approach to research and dissemination of the results. She also holds a degree in health management and further education in sexual health and education, teaches women’s health on the bachelor physiotherapy program, holds courses and talks, and tries to influence politicians to prioritize and improve women’s health.
 
Nina begins the episode by discussing her background working with women around the perinatal period and how her clinical observations led to her desire to perform more research on the effect of exercise on DRA. She felt that there was a lot of messaging that was fear-based and could potentially reduce participation in exercise.

With Kari Bø and others in the team at University of Bergen, Nina has published research studies on the effect of pelvic floor and transversus abdominis contraction on the inter-recti distance in both pregnancy and post-partum populations. She also conducted a randomised controlled trial (during covid lockdowns!!) on the effect of a 12-week full body strengthening program (including abdominal exercises) during pregnancy on the inter-recti distance at late stage pregnancy and at 6 weeks postpartum.

You can access her research articles here:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2024.02.002 
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2023.08.001 
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2018.08.009

Nina is happy for people to get in touch with her with any questions or comments.
We thoroughly enjoyed this interview with Nina and hope you do too! Please feel free to leave a comment below about your thoughts on the topic!

nina-margrethe.theodorsen@uib.no
@diastaseprosjektet