Whenever someone has suffered physical trauma, it’s typical that they will receive a prescription for physical therapy from their doctor for the recovery process. That is because it’s important to regain strength and stability with the help of an expert to avoid problems later down the line. For example, if someone tore their rotator cuff, they may have surgery to fix the muscles and would be prescribed or seek PT to stretch the tight muscles, regain coordination (brain-muscle connection), improve muscle endurance, strength, and stability. When a woman’s body goes through nine months of physically demanding change ending in the extreme physical trauma that is bringing a human into the world, you’d assume they are getting this same advice. Unfortunately, that’s wrong. Many women are unsure of their postpartum recovery options. The lack of information has led to fewer women seeking postpartum PT, and more women experiencing painful intercourse and leaking. One common misconception that I hear is that if there was no vaginal tearing or if the mother delivered via C-section, there must be no need for pelvic floor PT.
During a cesarean delivery, the doctor makes an incision through your skin, fat, connective tissue, and into your abdominal cavity. The abdominal muscles are spread apart and the bladder is moved so the doctor can get to the uterus. After the placenta is removed, your uterus is stitched up, the bladder is put back, the abdominal muscles moved back, and your skin is stitched up. Scar tissue develops as you heal and can become very problematic for your abdominal region and specifically with your pelvic floor and fascia. Cesarean scars can cause issues with nerve function to the pelvic floor which can result in pelvic pain with sex, urethral burning, or feeling like you need to pee all the time. If left unaddressed, the scar tissue can cause issues with the abdominal organs and just be very painful later in life.
Giving birth is not the only traumatic thing that happens to your pelvic floor. During pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles are compromised and stretched by the weight of your uterus. This causes your pelvic floor muscles to stretch and be more relaxed than normal. Nine months of posture changes, different muscles tightening/loosening, and after giving birth you are now in charge of a tiny human that takes up much of your focus! That is a recipe for pelvic floor dysfunction and living a lesser quality of life than necessary.
See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Today!
It’s important to see a pelvic floor PT after giving birth to re-train your pelvic floor muscles and core to function properly. You only get one body and now you have two (or more) to take care of. Don’t wait to seek help and advice! We are here to help or to refer you to someone else who can. After giving birth, your body needs a lot of recovery time. NOT to hit the gym as soon as possible! Your body will react better to be listened to and cared for rather than being pushed to its limits. Any athlete you can think of would prioritize their recovery and get expert help to get back to feeling their best. Moms deserve this exact same care and the empowerment to seek that care. If you want to discuss your options give us a call at (401)602-7006 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.