We need to normalize and set the expectation of pelvic floor physical therapy for all pregnant and birthing people.
Pregnancy and birth are enormously transformative processes, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Societally, we have come a long way in addressing a birthing person’s emotional and spiritual well-being, but we still find ourselves woefully lacking when it comes to physical care. Not only are we lacking, but maternal health outcomes in the U.S. have actually worsened in the last 20 years. The U.S. has some of the worst maternal health outcomes of any developed country, and most of these undesirable outcomes are preventable.
Our parents, our friends, our care providers (maybe ourselves) tend to perpetuate misinformation that negatively impacts a birthing person’s prenatal health and wellness which in turn, negatively impacts their postpartum health and wellness as well as their ability to care for their newborn child.
Some examples of misinformation we often see and hear:
- Peeing when you sneeze is normal.
- Don’t work your abs during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy is just uncomfortable and you won’t be able to sleep at the end.
- You need to tone down your exercise in pregnancy. Walking is safer.
- Intercourse after baby will be painful.
So many of the aches and pains during pregnancy and postpartum are common, yes, but normal? NO! And they are not only treatable, but many are preventable.
Maternal morbidities, a term used to describe short and long-term health problems resulting from pregnancy and/or birth, affect between 50,000 and 60,000 birthing people a year, and again, most of these morbidities are preventable!
Examples of maternal morbidities specifically related to the pelvic floor:
- Incontinence (fecal or urinary)—this includes having to use the restroom more frequently than is necessary to empty the bladder
- Pelvic organ prolapse (uterine, bladder, or rectal)
- Overactive bladder
- Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Tailbone pain (coccydynia)
- Abdominal weakness and/or pain
As pelvic floor specialists, our physical therapists are in the best position to care for birthing people throughout pregnancy and into postpartum to help them both treat and PREVENT so many of these maternal morbidities.
If you are pregnant, know that pregnancy and birth are a sprint whereas postpartum is a marathon. Postpartum is forever, we say. Now is the time to get your body in a place of the best possible function to give you a better birth and a better postpartum.
If you are postpartum, whether 20 days or 20 years, we can help you. It is never too early and never too late to address the issues and pain you experience post-childbirth. At OrthoPelvic, we don’t wait for the 6-week check-up. We start working with birthing people to regain strength, function, and RELAX their majorly taxed muscles starting at 3 weeks postpartum. And remember, we consider you post-childbirth forever 🙂
If anything I’ve said resonates with you, book a FREE 10-minute consult call today. At OrthoPelvic PT, working with birthing people means so much to us because we know that we are truly equipped to give them the best, specialized care. This is what we do and this is what we love. Give us a call today ✨
Be empowered in education,
OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy