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Reasons Why New Moms Need Physical Therapy

Why New Moms Need Physical Therapy

by Tara Selvy, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

The wait is finally over; after nine months of doctor appointments and nursery decorating, your baby has arrived! Keep in mind, that it’s still an ongoing process after giving birth, and along the journey of pregnancy, your body has encountered many changes. You may find it difficult to return to your prior activity levels or experience new problems related to your pelvic floor. This blog will discuss how new moms can benefit from physical therapy to address any concerns after having their baby.

The Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor

Every woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery are unique. During childbirth, your pelvic floor stretches to allow you to deliver the baby. Following birth, hormonal changes are present, usually resulting in decreased estrogen. Did you know estrogen plays a vital role in keeping our pelvic floor tissues happy? One might ask, what are the functions of the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor helps in providing support, sphincteric control, stabilization, sexual function, and a sump pump (circulation for our lymphatic system to prevent swelling).

After giving birth, you may experience urinary dysfunction, vaginal dryness, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), pelvic pain, constipation, lower back pain, hip pain, prolapse, or painful intercourse. You may be wondering if these symptoms are similar to what you are experiencing. Below are some additional signs that may be associated with pelvic floor dysfunction:

Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  • Leaking urine with a cough, sneeze, or strenuous activities
  • Increased urinary frequency or constipation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain in the low back or pelvis
  • Doming with core exercises or weakness felt in the lower stomach

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Did you know a physical therapist can assist you in the recovery process? A pelvic health physical therapist can provide services to help transition into postpartum care so mom can return to or improve her quality of life. It’s important to remember that while all of these changes are common, that doesn’t mean it has to become your new normal. A pelvic health physical therapist will assist you in returning to pain-free intercourse, improved bowel/bladder habits, stop leakage, and provide guidance on the proper body mechanics for carrying your new baby.

When Should I Seek Help?

An appropriate time frame to seek out a pelvic floor PT is at the 6-week postpartum mark. Staying on top of your health should be your number one goal, so seek a consultation with your pelvic floor PT because this appointment will open the opportunity to discuss all your “new mom” concerns. Women should take charge of their bodies and understand how they can maximize their health and wellness.

Physical Therapy: For More than Just Injuries

Women’s health covers a multitude of subjects, from pregnancy to aging. As a physical therapist, I want to break the misconception that physical therapy is just for an injury or after surgery. In reality, physical therapy is here to avoid those injuries or surgery in the first place! With the right program, you can improve your posture, strengthen the core, decrease the risk of injury, and return to your prior activity level. For these reasons, all women need to embrace the different stages the body goes through throughout their lives and make sure they are receiving the correct diagnosis and treatment in all areas of their healthcare.

Many forms of physical therapy treatment are available to help moms feel better about their bodies and ease the uncertainty of childbirth. It can be as simple as including individualized physical therapy pelvic floor exercises, which is just one of many techniques available to help regain coordination and strength to the pelvic floor muscles after giving birth. Other treatment options include relaxation techniques, biofeedback therapy, manual therapy techniques, and education on your diagnosis. Women have different health concerns and require a detailed analysis of treatment not only while trying to conceive, throughout the nine months of pregnancy and childbirth but across their entire lifespan.
Get started today by scheduling a Free Assessment with an Athletico pelvic health specialist.

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Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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