Postpartum pelvic health: Common symptoms and how pelvic floor physical therapy can help
After having a baby, it’s completely normal to feel like you’re not quite yourself. Recovery looks different for every mom, and it can seem like the road to getting back to “normal’” takes a long time. As you heal, prioritizing your pelvic health is important. Read on to explore ways to strengthen and heal your pelvis postpartum.
Pelvic health symptoms to bring up with your doctor
As you’re recovering from bringing your sweet baby into the world, remember that recovery takes time and can be challenging. It took 10 months to grow a human, so expecting your body to be completely back to normal at your six-week visit isn’t realistic. Remember to be kind to yourself and your body and allow yourself to take the time needed to heal.
It’s common to experience certain pelvic concerns such as:
- Pelvic instability
- Urinary incontinence
- Bowel Incontinence
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Lack of coordination of the pelvic muscles
- Painful intercourse
While common, you don’t have to live with these symptoms. Bring them up to your doctor. Together, you can decide the right next steps.
Other symptoms you might experience include incision and laceration pain and pressure in the pelvis. If you are providing breast milk for your little one, vaginal dryness is a frequently seen issue. While these concerns can feel embarrassing, know that your doctor is used to hearing any and all pelvic health worries and is there to make sure you feel better.
When to consider pelvic floor physical therapy
As you discuss care options with your physician, remember that pelvic floor physical therapy might be a great treatment for your symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with a number of concerns after having a baby, such as the coordination of the pelvic muscles, and aid in proper healing.
This can also address any pelvic organ prolapse resulting from delivery and help address painful intercourse. Urinary incontinence is also commonly treated with pelvic floor physical therapy. Nearly all women have incontinence after having a baby, but with therapy, you can strengthen the pelvic floor and decrease your symptoms more quickly.
No matter what you are experiencing or whether you delivered vaginally or had a C-section, there are excellent benefits for all moms with physical therapy. Your body is amazing and just did something absolutely incredible—it deserves to heal in the best way possible and is worth prioritizing.
If you had large vaginal lacerations or are experiencing diastasis recti (separation of the ab muscles), you might be a great candidate for pelvic floor physical therapy. Whether you choose to try physical therapy or not, returning to exercise and physical activity when cleared by your doctor is always helpful.
The goal of your physician is to help your recovery be as smooth and pain-free as possible—what might seem uncomfortable to you is simply part of their job! Your doctor is there for you. Be sure to discuss any uncomfortable symptoms with your physician and show your pelvic floor some love as you heal.
Pelvic health concerns? Talk to your OBGYN or find one near you.
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