Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy after Birth
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
I just got back from my 4th pelvic physical therapy session and I thought I would blog a little bit about this experience because it is something that isn’t talked about much and yet is so important!!
I started to see my pelvic PT during my third trimester when, after doing a regular workout (that I’d done many times before), I started to feel rather intense pelvic pressure and pain. It continued to get worse, to the point where it literally felt like my pelvis was breaking in half when I walked. I was diagnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction (read more about that here) and continued to struggle with that up until the day I gave birth.
I delivered my son via c-section, so I naively believed that I wouldn’t have any pelvic floor problems postpartum....wrong!! I was dealing with back pain, abdominal separation, and pelvic floor issues which sent me right back into my PT’s office. And what I have learned has been so enlightening !
It only makes sense that while we are carrying around added weight in my mid-section for 9 months that my body would adapt to account for this shift in gravity and uneven weight distribution. Some muscles turned on, others turned off, and some overcompensated! In my specific case, my back, hips and pelvic floor were working over time during my pregnancy. So now, I’m experiencing tightness in those areas as well as the inability for some muscles to relax. While working with my physical therapist, the hope is to get everything back to a state of equilibrium and working properly so that I can be pain free!
Another interesting thing I have been dealing with is diastasis recti. I have about a 2-3 finger separation above and over my belly button. This is pretty mild, but it does require gentle, core focused work to help guide the muscles back together (read here for more info on DR). If I were to jump back into the ab workouts I was doing before pregnancy, I could risk delaying the healing process or even an umbilical hernia! Not something I want to experience!
Overall - I am so glad I decided to go back to my pelvic PT postpartum and I am learning so much in addition to helping my body get back to a more “normal” state. My PT told me that all women who have been pregnant and have given birth would benefit from therapy, even if they aren’t experiencing overly obvious symptoms. So I encourage you to speak with your doctor if you feel you could benefit and get that referral! There are so many aspects to postpartum care, and moms deserve to be taken care of!!
*disclaimer - this does not serve as medical advice and I am not a Physical Therapist. Please talk to your medical team if you are experiencing pain postpartum*