In France, all people who have given birth are prescribed pelvic floor physical therapy. While seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist in the postpartum period is not yet standard practice in the United States, more and more providers are recommending their patients see a pelvic floor physical therapist for postpartum physical therapy. Girl Fit Physical Therapy offers pelvic floor PT and has therapists who specialize in working with women during the postpartum period. The following are just a few of the many reasons to check-in with a pelvic floor physical therapist postpartum:
Our pelvic floor muscles are the muscles responsible for starting and stopping the flow of urine. They also provide support to our internal organs. Urinary incontinence, or leaking urine, can occur during pregnancy and may continue postpartum. In postpartum athletes, it is reported that up to 35% of women can experience urinary incontinence while exercising. Pelvic floor physical therapists can assess the strength and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. Then they can help create an exercise plan to decrease urinary incontinence as individuals return to exercise.
Diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, is extremely common during pregnancy and can often persist postpartum. This weakens the stability of the core muscles and overtime can put more pressure on other muscles, such as your pelvic floor, lower back or hips. A pelvic floor physical therapist can check for abdominal separation and teach you exercises to improve the separation as well as strengthen your core.
It is not uncommon for women to notice postural changes during pregnancy. Sometimes, these continue in the postpartum period as they can become a habit. Caring for a newborn also often comes with postural challenges as you are carrying, lifting and feeding a baby throughout the day. Physical therapists can work with you to learn safe strategies and modifications for sitting, feeding, lifting and carrying in order to decrease pain and risk of injury!
Often postpartum women are cleared for activity by their OBGYN if everything looks okay at their six-week follow up with their provider. There is very little guidance on how to return to exercise. This can lead to people being fearful of overdoing things or being eager to go back to exercise and doing too much too soon. A pelvic floor physical therapist can work with you to develop a plan to return to exercise and meet your goals safely.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our pelvic floor physical therapists for postpartum physical therapy, please contact the office at 617-618-9290 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to working with you!