3 Reasons to See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist after Pregnancy
A pregnancy causes major changes in the body’s physiology and some discomfort following birth is completely normal. However, there are some post-natal symptoms which may require the attention of a specialist in pelvic floor therapy.
1.) Incontinence Especially with Activity
It is common for a new mom to report leakage unexpectedly. Due to the stress of pregnancy and/or delivery, your pelvic floor can become strained from excess pressure or tearing during delivery. This can create involuntary urinating especially with exercise such as running and jumping. The social response to this is “Just do a Kegel”. However, how do you know if you’re doing a kegel correctly? A pelvic floor therapist can give you feedback to assess your strength, enhance your awareness, and monitor your progress.
2.) Pain with Sex
Pain with sex is not normal in any circumstance. Due to how you deliver your baby, you can have tearing to your pelvic floor, or undergo an episiotomy. This can create pain with intercourse. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help reduce the pain and improve proper muscle function. They can also educate you on proper habits and positions during sex to reduce pain.
3.) Hip, Shoulder or Back Pain
A variety of orthopedic conditions can develop postpartum. For example, shoulder and upper back pain can develop from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can pull you into postures that affect your alignment and cause pain. You can develop low back pain from constant bending to clean or pick your baby up from a crib. You can also develop a diastasic rectus from pregnancy creating improper abdominal support to protect your low back. Hip pain can also develop after pregnancy because your pelvis shifts due to laxity that occurred that assists to widen the pelvis to prepare for delivery. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help fix your alignment and improve core stabilization to help you return to your life after pregnancy.