The period after having a baby is a massive change- the body has just undergone a major series of changes, and instead of resting a new mother is consumed with late nights, learning new skills and getting to know her child. While she may not realise it at the time, her body needs just as much attention.
Post-natal check ups with a gynaecologist are a given, as are visits to a paediatrician for the baby. What is often overlooked is the mother's musculoskeletal and pelvic floor concerns-
A natural birth may be accompanied by an episiotomy and stitches, which combined with other pregnancy-related changes can cause problems like leakage of urine down the line. Having a Cesarean section won't help either- pregnancy itself can result in enough weakening of the core and pelvic floor muscles due to the growing weight of the baby.
It is a common belief that a woman's body is 'just not the same' after pregnancy and delivery, and this is because it is true. But this does not mean that there is no solution or that these issues cannot be treated.
Leakage of urine, painful sex and changed frequency of urination after pregnancy are all issues that are common- and extremely treatable. Even if it has been years since your last baby, a physiotherapist can still assess you and recommend a protocol to give you some relief.
Regaining core and pelvic floor strength after pregnancy can help reduce the risk for developing issues such as pelvic organ prolapse later in life.
Pregnancy hormones can actually relax and soften your ligaments, which connect bones to each other. The natural purpose of this is to enable easier dilation of the cervix and passage of the baby through the birth canal, but combined with issues like weight gain and water retention, can cause a multitude of aches and pains.
Burning down the thigh (meralgia paresthetica), pelvic or pubic bone pain (symphysis pubis dysfunction), wrist pain (carpal tunnel syndrome) are just some musculoskeletal issues commonly experienced in pregnancy.
A wide array of modalities and braces are used to treat these issues along with exercise, so that you can cope with the physical demands of new motherhood without any pain.
Return to Activity:
Although each woman's goals will obviously be different- one may wish to return to being an athlete, one may simply desire to be able to care for her children without getting exhausted- setting goals can help achieve them.
Post pregnancy health and wellness is not about losing the baby weight, it's about being as fit as you were before. Traditional beliefs often confine the mother to the home and advocate the consumption of highly caloric foods, especially for breastfeeding mothers. The truth is that exercise is necessary to return to your previous physical condition.
What each new mother needs is different- everyone's experience with pregnancy, labor and delivery is different, so an assessment by a physiotherapist helps pinpoint issues and treat them early before they begin affecting your daily life. You don't even have to wait for issues to become evident before seeking physiotherapy after pregnancy- be proactive and schedule an appointment with one today!