Your new baby has arrived, and all of your attention and love is happily on them. As a new mother, it’s also essential to pay attention to your postpartum recovery, and one aspect that often goes unnoticed is the health of your pelvic floor. In this blog post, we’ll explore when and why you should consider seeking pelvic floor physical therapy postpartum.
First, let’s take a moment to appreciate everything your pregnant body just went through:
- The abdominal musculature is stretched to 115% of its resting length by 38 weeks of pregnancy.
- Diastasis Recti is not uncommon at this time.
- The pelvic floor musculature is stretched to 250% of its resting length during delivery.
- C-section deliveries are major abdominal surgeries, and the scar tissue restrictions could lead to back pain, difficulty engaging the abdominal muscles, and pelvic floor weakness and dysfunction.
- Changes in weight, posture, availability in lung capacity, hormonal changes, ligament laxity, and sleep deprivation all play a role in your healing journey now as a new mother.
As you can see, pregnancy and childbirth places significant stress on the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles, responsible for supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum, can undergo change and strain, leading to various postpartum issues.
Signs That You May Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy:
- Urinary Incontinence: If you’re experiencing leakage during activities like laughing, sneezing, or exercising.
- Pelvic Pain: Persistent pain in the pelvic region, whether during daily activities or intimate moments.
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse: A feeling of pressure or bulging in the pelvic area.
The Importance of Seeking Professional Help:
- Expert Assessment: Pelvic floor physical therapists are trained to assess and address postpartum concerns.
- Tailored Treatment Plans: Therapists create personalized plans to target specific issues, promoting a quicker recovery.
- Preventing Long-Term Complications: Early intervention can prevent the development of chronic pelvic floor issues.
When to Initiate Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy:
- As Soon as Symptoms Arise
- Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen; seek help as soon as you notice any discomfort or issues.
- Postpartum Check-Up
- Let your provider know if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and ask for a referral to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy at your 6-8 week follow-up visit.
- Remember that they are there to support you. Your well-being matters.
- Seeking a referral for pelvic floor physical therapy is a proactive step toward optimal postpartum recovery.
- Advocate for yourself and the care you deserve.
Postpartum recovery is a unique journey for every woman, and prioritizing pelvic floor health is crucial for a smoother transition into motherhood. Recognizing the signs and seeking pelvic floor physical therapy when needed can contribute to a healthier, more comfortable postpartum experience. Remember, nurturing yourself is an integral part of caring for your new bundle of joy.
The Physical Therapy Team at Hudson Valley Physical Therapy are experts in pelvic health and postpartum recovery. We are here for you every step of the way. We offer complimentary phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about Pelvic Floor PT and how we can help you. Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form above or call us at (914) 831-9575. We look forward to hearing from you.