Common conditions during postpartum
Perineal/ Episiotomy Scar
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Urinary/ Fecal Incontinence
Pelvic Pain/ Dyspareunia
How can physical therapy help after having a baby?
After you are cleared by your OBGYN at your 6 week follow up, physical therapy can greatly help you in your recovery to feel better and get you back to feeling like yourself pre-pregnancy. Whether you are a new mom or just had your second or third baby, your body deserves good care! Your body will continue healing for months after having a baby and in some cases, such as a complicated delivery or a long labor, will take a much longer time. A thorough assessment of how you move, how your muscles are working, and finding the location and cause of pain will be the key to creating a customized treatment program for you.
Diastasis Recti is one of the most common conditions that women seek treatment for after giving birth. It is defined as a separation of the abdominal muscles > 2.7 cm that can develop during pregnancy or postpartum. It can get worse with strenuous lifting or exercises that will put too much stress on the already weakened and stretched abdominal muscles. Treatment for diastasis will involve protecting the healing tissue with taping or a use of a support and gradual targeted abdominal and pelvis/ pelvic floor strengthening exercises. Posture, spinal mobility, and breathing patterns will also be assessed, as these have a direct impact on your overall core strength.
Urinary/ fecal incontinence is another condition that women present with postpartum, especially after experiencing a 3rd or 4th degree tearing during a vaginal birth or with an instrument assisted delivery. This may present as mild leakage (such as with coughing or laughing) or more severe (little to no control to stop leakage). This may be due to nerve damage, formation of scar tissue, and trauma to the pelvic floor muscles. You will benefit from pelvic floor therapy, such as internal and external massage and stretching techniques, kegels and retraining of pelvic floor muscles, and in some cases, a home unit to help the muscles recover. Pelvic floor therapy can also help alleviate pain or discomfort during sex postpartum by treating the cause of the pain.