If you’ve had a child you know that postpartum is a time when your whole body is in a state of shock and awe essentially! In awe that you just had a baby, and in shock that you just had a baby! Over the last several years I am increasingly grateful for the insight and knowledge shared across Instagram and the internet around the importance of pelvic floor recovery for the postpartum period.
If you are getting ready to have a baby or just recently had a baby, this guest blog post by Dr. Stephanie Perez of Empowered Wellness is a physical therapist who is passionate about helping mothers on a virtual platform to gain access to women’s health services so that everyone can get the help and healing that they need.
Thank you, Dr, Perez for your guest blog post- I know this is going to be so helpful for many mamas and mamas-to-be!
Hello, Little Z’s Mommas! I love how Becca not only wants to bring you tips related to sleep, but also support the general health and wellness of the mommas who are implementing these routines! I’m so excited that Becca has invited me to share some super important information with you all about the importance of seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist after childbirth.
My name is Stephanie Perez and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Empowered Wellness. I specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Birth is beautiful and afterwards, there is a lot of care and attention on the new addition, making sure baby is accommodating well to the new world and is growing strong and healthy.
But what about mom?
Typically, new moms have one appointment with a physician around 6-8 weeks after delivery.
This appointment is usually quick and doesn’t involve much more than making sure we are still alive and functioning well.
There are many challenges that a postpartum body can experience and these are often not discussed due to embarrassment, or just swept under the rug with a, “you had a baby so you just have to deal with it.”
I am here to shine light on those challenges, remove stigma and embarrassment associated with them, and let you know that there is something that can be done to help you feel better!
The most common complaint that I hear from moms, no matter how long ago they gave birth, is incontinence.
Many women report urinary leakage with coughing or sneezing, inability to jump on the trampoline due to wet pants, or peeing during exercise or running. This is not something you have to accept!
Stress urinary incontinence is a sign that the pelvic floor muscles are not firing appropriately to handle the pressure change that is occurring with activity. Other challenges that women frequently experience are: urgency (having a hard time holding it), frequency (going more than 10 times a day), and painful intercourse.
A common misconception associated with any kind of dysfunction surrounding women’s health is, “just do kegels.” The pelvic floor is a muscular hammock that sits in the bottom of our pelvis and helps to hold our organs up (bladder, uterus, rectum), provide sexual function, and perform core stability.
Just like any other muscle in the body, injuries can occur, weakness can develop, or tension and trigger points can build resulting in pain and dysfunction. More often than we realize, the pelvic floor muscles are actually too tight, which inhibits their ability to contract well, or be strong.
If you continually tighten/contract the muscles, as in kegels, you won’t actually fix the underlying problem, and could make it worse.
Seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist after having a baby, no matter how long ago it was, is extremely beneficial. Your therapist will perform an initial assessment and will be able to tell you if you have excess tension, if your muscles are strong or weak, and how your overall coordination is.
Afterwards, you will have a tailored treatment plan in which you are an active participant in and will focus on improving your symptoms and reaching your goals.
At Empowered Wellness you have the option to work with me virtually to help you recover after baby and receive proper pelvic floor help. Sometimes the hardest part of getting help is actually *leaving* your home for a physical therapy visit! You don’t have to leave your home to receive care…we can work virtually together! > See all virtual options here.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a real diagnosis with many treatments available. You have a voice!
You don’t have to live another day with pain or incontinence.
We need to remove the normalcy that has been labeled to these issues and empower each other to get help and feel better.
We need to eliminate the shame and embarrassment and open-up the lines of communication between patients and physicians.
We have to take care of our bodies and be our own advocate.
A physical therapist can help!
Check out my website for more information: www.empoweredwellnesspt.com I offer virtual physical therapy and wellness services for your privacy and convenience of busy mom schedules! If you have any questions about pelvic floor dysfunction or about working towards a path of recovery, send me (Dr. Stephanie Perez) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Instagram!
Take care and be well!
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