“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” —Benjamin Franklin
This saying could not be more true, especially when it comes to having babies!
matter how hard I try to exercise my stomach/abdominal muscles, they don’t
work” or “I don’t even try to exercise my abs since having children
because it doesn’t feel the same and I’m not sure if it is safe” or
“Since children, my stomach doesn’t feel or look the same.”
Also known as Abdominal Wall Weakness and/or Rectus Diastasis
can affect confidence, posture, back pain, difficulty with bowel
function, intimate relationship with partner, type of clothing you
wear, ability to exercise, and ability to care for children.
WHY POSTPARTUM PHYSICAL THERAPY?
You are probably wondering “why do I need physical therapy after having a baby?” There are many issues that your body can encounter after the delivery process, even up to 12-18 months later. Even if you are not having specific problems following the birth of your little one, it is important to be evaluated for the following reasons.
As you know your body is and has been different now than it was 9-10 months ago! Many changes take place during pregnancy and childbirth, not matter how you delivered (vaginal or cesarean). It may take some extra effort to get your body back to functioning normally, especially to prevent problems in the future.
When I say “normal,” I am referring to proper muscle and body function, not “being in shape” or “losing the baby weight,” although this is important as well. Below are some of the problems/symptoms associated with child-bearing and child births. Keep in mind many of these things you may not be aware of right now. Instead, many women come to me later in life with bigger problems in the pelvic and abdominal area that could have been prevented. Physical Therapy can be started as early as 4-6 weeks following the birth of your baby and clearance from your doctor to do so. (Usually started after your postpartum exam.)
Abdominal Muscles and Rectus Diastasis: Many women want to know “how
do I get my tummy back after pregnancy?” Weak abdominal can lead to
weak or tight pelvic floor muscles, make you more vulnerable to low
back pain, decrease ability and regularity of bowel movements, decrease
overall fitness and ability to return to exercise. Doing abdominal exercise on your own after the baby can easily do more damage than good, without specific training from a specialized physical therapist.
During a vaginal delivery there is often either a tear of the perineum or an episiotomy. In both cases, often the superficial and deep transverse perineal muscles
are also torn or cut.
- 64% residents (a practitioner four months away from becoming a medical Dr) never learned pelvic anatomy (out of 200)
- 28% had performed a complicated episiotomy without supervision
It is common during the postpartum period (especially if you’re breast feeding) for the vaginal tissues to be dry and more sensitive. Even if you’ve never needed lubrication before during intimacy you may need it now. A great one that I recommend is Slippery Stuff.
Note: Even if your children are older now or you have had multiple babies, YOU CAN STILL BENEFIT FROM THIS SERVICE!!
"Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I began to experience severe pelvic pain. At first, my symptoms seemed similar to the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. The initial tests for infection came back negative and my symptoms began to worsen.
Over the next several weeks, I saw several doctors from different areas of medicine. I received a variety of treatments, medications, and advice, but my symptoms persisted. It was deeply frustrating to be in pain each day while trying to care for my newborn. Without a clear cause for my symptoms, I felt that there was no end in sight. I was not comfortable with the notion of taking pain medication indefinitely.
Finally, my obstetrician recommended that I see the physical therapist in her office, Brandi Robertson. Brandi took the time to carefully listen to my symptoms and the treatments that had been tried thus far. She shared her initial thoughts with me and described how muscle testing could give us additional information. Indeed the testing did give me my first concrete bit of information that helped to explain why I was in so much pain.
Over the next few months, I saw Brandi often and my symptoms began to decrease. In addition to my scheduled visits, I followed a series of exercises that Brandi had given me to do at home.
I will be forever grateful to Brandi for her kindness and dedication to me during what was a very difficult time in my life. I truly believe that she helped to put me on a path towards healing."
—received postpartum care
by Holly Herman and Alex Pirie
To learn more or to schedule an evaluation today,