The Postpartum Recovery period; Are we doing right by new moms? PART#1
Did you know that in some parts of the world a postpartum visit with a pelvic floor physical therapist is the standard of care?
Do these countries have the right idea of optimal immediate and long-term recovery of woman after childbirth!
Although pregnancy and the process of birthing is one of the most beautiful experiences, it can certainly take a toll on your pelvic floor.
What is the pelvic floor?
It’s a group of muscles that lay at the base of your pelvic. It spans from hip to hip and from the pubic bone all the way back to your tailbone. There are 3 layers of muscles in the pelvic floor each one containing at least 3 muscles.
The functions of these muscles are:
1.Sphincteric- A closure mechanism to maintain continence of our bowel and bladder.
2. Sexual- allow for sexual appreciation
3. Supportive- they support the pelvic organs above it to allow for proper function.
4. Stabilization- pelvic floor muscles play a critical role in posture and stabilizing our pelvis, hips, and back.
During pregnancy our pelvic floor muscles and the muscles of the abdominal wall get stretched out and can become weak. Prolonged pushing, pushing during birth with poor technique, a C-section scar, or episiotomy can also lead to complications of recovery.
In the postpartum period a weak pelvic floor or initiating a postpartum fitness program without addressing your deep core can lead to bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction.
Some woman experience urinary urgency and/or frequency, Constipation and/or bowel incontinence, painful sex, pain with sitting, or pelvic organ prolapse
(When the pelvic organs move from their normal position leading to a feeling of pressure and fullness in the pelvic area).
The great news is…. A pelvic floor PT can help you resolve all of these issues.
Many techniques such as manual therapy, postural training, exercise instruction, bowel and bladder retraining, scar release techniques and neuromuscular therapy can help to resolve postpartum issues.
If woman are pregnant for 10 months shouldn’t we consider the postpartum period to be at least this long?
So many healthcare practitioners are giving new moms the “green light” to go back to full activity after 6 weeks.
The reality is that our bodies need more time to recover.
A pelvic floor physical therapist is and should be considered instrumental in helping moms recover in the postpartum period in order to:
1. Ensure that your pelvic floor and deep core muscles regain their full strength and coordination.
2. Assess the abdominal wall muscles and connective tissue.
3. Individualized guidance on returning to exercise properly.
4. Address any issues or pain that may have occurred as a result of birthing to ensure proper healing.
5.Education on body mechanics while caring and feeding a new baby.
6. Ensure the proper healing of scars or skin tears.
New moms, you deserve the gold standard of care; an individualized program designed uniquely for you. Be your own best advocate!
For more information or to make an appointment go to www.pelvicorerehab.com
Stay tuned for Part #2 of this Blog
What to Expect on your First Pelvic Floor visit?