The recent October issue of The Wall Street Journal recognizes the challenges of postpartum health care in the article entitled, “Bigger Postpartum Challenges Than Just Baby Weight”. How many women have been told, “That leaking you have is totally normal” or, “Those aches and pains are just part of having a baby”? While countries like France offer postpartum women 10-20 sessions of la rééducation périnéale paid for by French Social Security, women in the United States struggle to even find answers about what is and isn’t normal after having a baby. To find out more about what Renew Physical Therapists can offer you in your postpartum recovery, continue reading below.
There are many changes that happen during pregnancy that affect the body and mind. One aspect of the body that Renew PT specializes in is the pelvic floor muscles, which lie at the base of the pelvis forming a hammock that supports the abdominal organs, maintains our continence, and provides us with normal sexual function. During pregnancy, these muscles are forced to work overtime, often times becoming weakened and stretched, and can even tear during delivery. In addition to the pelvic floor, the muscles and ligaments of the back, hip, and abdomen are stressed during pregnancy, placing the body at risk for injury. These injuries, if left untreated, may linger for months or years after giving birth leading to conditions such as diastasis recti (separation of the “six pack” abs), coccyx or tailbone pain, painful sex, incontinence, prolapse, back/hip pain, and scar pain or adhesions, whether from a Cesarean birth, episiotomy, or perineal tearing during vaginal delivery. Did you know that women who have had a child are 2.5x more likely to have urinary incontinence than women who have not given birth? Although common, these aches, pains, and annoyances are not normal and can be treated by women’s health physical therapists.
With the United States placing more emphasis on preventative medicine, why have pregnant and postpartum women fallen to the wayside? Here at Renew PT, we advocate for proactive care and encourage all postpartum women to see a physical therapist approximately 6 weeks after giving birth to ensure proper healing and to educate women on the “do’s and do not’s” of postpartum recovery. A few helpful hints to get you started on your road to recovery include:
– Avoid heavy lifting: Only lift objects that are equal to or lighter than your baby
– Always roll to your side when getting up out of bed: Do not jackknife, or sit up straight like a crunch
– Don’t hold your breath: Always exhale when you’re lifting or going to the bathroom
The following questions will help you determine if you may benefit from seeing a physical therapist after having a baby:
1. Do you ever leak urine with coughing, sneezing, or laughing?
2. Do you ever find it hard to hold back gas or leak stool?
3. Have you ever had hip pain or back pain that prevents you from sitting, walking, or standing for prolonged periods?
4. Do you ever feel like something is falling out of your vagina?
5. Do you have a painful, sensitive, or raised c-section scar that bothers you?
6. Have you ever felt like your belly was loose or that something was bulging out of the belly?
7. Do you have painful intercourse?
8. Have you ever said to yourself, “something just doesn’t feel right down there”?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions and have given birth, please contact us at Renew Physical Therapy so we can help you find your way to the road of success.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Check with your Doctor before attempting any of the recommendations on this website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. Renew Physical Therapy IS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. If you are in acute pain and would like to have a physical therapy program developed for you for your condition please give us a call at 212-213-4660.