Guest Post by Valley Pelvic Health: Bringing Sexy Back
Improving your Postpartum Recovery with Better Pelvic Floor Health
Let’s go there and I mean “down there”. We all know having a baby is a miracle, but boy does it take a toll on our bodies. Let’s chat about 4 common postpartum issues that are related to the pelvic floor.
- Urinary Incontinence: Leaking when you sneeze, cough, jump, laugh, walk, or ANY activity, you get that point, is NOT normal. It’s NOT all about the kegels either. 40% of women do kegels incorrectly, and the other 60% have muscles that are too tight causing leakage, pain, and discomfort1. These muscles require manual manipulation from a licensed clinician and re-education to teach the muscles how to work again 2.
- Diastasis Recti: Separation of the abdomen occurring during pregnancy and may leave weak core muscles postpartum. Why is this a problem? We have to lift many objects including children, car-carriers, and ourselves out of bed following delivery. With weak core muscles, the incident of low back pain also increases. To fix the problem, we need to strengthen the transverse abdominis, a deep core muscle that is sometimes hard to tighten postpartum because the muscle has been stretched during pregnancy2. This strengthening program needs to be tailored to your body, because you are unique and require progressive strengthening different from your girlfriend down the street who also just had a baby.
- Pain with Intercourse: OMG! That’s not normal? Other women have this? YES!!! AND pelvic floor Physical Therapy can fix it! The condition is likely caused by tight muscles, scar tissue, lack of estrogen and maybe fear3. With the right combination of hand on therapy and progressive exercise, you will be back to yourself (in the bedroom) in no time!
- Prolapse: vaginal, uterine, or rectal. Depending on your delivery you may have 1 or all 3 , but the good news, it is FIXABLE. A prolapse is diagnosed by a physician and treated by a PT—and guess what, it is not just your pelvic floor we have to work on. There are combination movements including use of your transverse abdominis, hip musculature, and low back to improve your overall posture and position of the prolapse4.
The great news is, if you have any of these issues at 6 weeks postpartum seek care from a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist. In Europe, each patient sees a pelvic health PT before discharge because they seem the importance of supporting newly postpartum moms. Give yourself the care you deserve and see a PT as soon as you can. We have a class coming up at Valley Pelvic Health & Physical Therapy that you are free to join!
Brittany Wilmoth, PT, DPT Dr. Brittany Wilmoth is a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist who graduated from Duke University. She is passionate about treating women and men with bowel, bladder, or sexual dysfunction including pregnant and postpartum women. She is excited to bring pelvic floor services to the greater Augusta County Area.