Unfortunately, the US healthcare system does not seem to have a “momma first” mindset after giving birth. Typically, the following scenario stands true for so many women:
You give birth to your precious new addition. Then you go home/are home with your precious new addition,and you are left to “figure it out” with the bleeding…the peeing…the pain…the difficulty with moving around…to be told at your 6-week check-up, “You are fine, and everything is normal. You can resume anything you want!”
I find that often, women leave these scenarios feeling broken and ignored. I hear the stories of, “They told me I was fine, so why don’t I feel fine? What is wrong with me?”
Postpartum care should be something EVERY woman receives postpartum. I’m talking postpartum care for MOMMA.
Check out a blog we wrote about why Every mom should have the opportunity to see a pelvic floor specialist…
The mental health part…the emotional side of things…the physical side…it should all be addressed, and there should be resources given to every momma!
I mean, you have a new addition, whether this is your first or more, and things change. You are transitioning, and you deserve support to be able to tolerate that transition and feel empowered through it.
Be sure to check out this podcast episode about how important mental health really is for these transitions!
What happens when you try to have sex, again, postpartum? What if you feel pressure or heaviness down there? What if you are struggling with leakage of urine?
Who do you ask these questions to?
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists do just that! We specialize in taking care of momma. We take a very supportive approach to understanding exactly what transitions your body endured through pregnancy, as well as an understanding based on your birth story of how things can affect you moving forward. From there, we are able to tie things together so you can reach your goals and live your life symptom-free.
After carrying a baby for 9 months, or so, then delivering your baby (whether vaginally or c-section) there are so many things your body adapts to! We often forget this and feel pressured to jump back into exercise, or feel pressured to lose weight…
As a Pelvic Floor Expert, I would LOVE to offer you these tips on being sure that your postpartum care is the best that it can be!
1. See a Pelvic floor therapist! YES!!! You knew I was going to say that, but it is so important. We can really help you get through what you’re feeling and make sense of all the things that need to be done in order to truly optimize your recovery!
2. Remember that this is a difficult transition. Do your best to allow yourself to recognize that you are a mom now, whether the first time or again, and you deserve some time to transition into this role. This may involve giving yourself grace when feeling overwhelmed, or not being able to get back to the gym as quickly as you initially wanted to. It is okay to take it slow and recognize what your body really needs right now!
3. Ask for support. Whether that is from your husband, your family or friends, it is okay and recommended to ask for help. Have someone make dinner or fold your laundry…allow them to do this and accept it!!! And if someone wants to come over and hold the baby while you nap…let them!!!
There are SO MANY more things I could go into here, but I also want to discuss a few of the things to watch out for that may indicate coming to see a Pelvic Floor Therapist.
1. Urinary incontinence that continues after you get home or a few days after birth. It is going to occur immediately after but, truly, your bladder control starts to get back to function fairly quickly after delivery. This includes a c-section. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, first, try the following:
a. Can you perform a kegel? Squeeze your anus closed, then your vagina closed, then lift up. If you cannot feel this, maybe that’s where we should begin!
b. Are you drinking enough water? If you are breastfeeding, you may be completely dehydrated!
2. Pain. Yes, of course, you will experience some pain in your pelvic region or even your c-section scar. However, on a scale of 1-10, your pain does not deserve to be more than a 4-5. Be sure you are still able to get up and go to the restroom and move around without a ton of help or assistance. If you do experience pain in your pubic bone,in your low back or your vagina, you may want to call us!
3. Heaviness in your vagina. If you feel heaviness or like things are “dropping,” or even if you see an “egg” or something pink at the opening of your vagina, it may be an early sign of a prolapse.
4. Separation of your core muscles. If you notice, while sitting up from a lying down position, it is possible you may be showing signs of diastasis recti. Please note that this IS GOING TO be present for the first few weeks postpartum due to the amount of growth that occurs during pregnancy, but if it persists, then be sure to see us so we can get you back to exercise that will help you!
Understand that you do NOT have to be super worried or upset about any of the above because there is help for you! Your OVERALL health is what is the most important, meaning, we have to address mental health, emotional health, and overall functional physical health.
Even if you are cleared at your 6-week check-up but you do not feel quite ready, it is okay to wait a little longer to have sex or wait a little longer to get back to the gym.
Know that you are NOT broken.
Know that you CAN get back to your workout routine.
Know that you are able to reach any of the goals that you have set for yourself in your postpartum journey!
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions or would like to set up a free discovery call to see if we can help you, please contact us below:
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