Post Natal Physiotherapy Care
The female body is a marvellous thing isn’t it?!? You are able to grow and birth an entire human being!! A massive high five to that! BUT getting there is tough on the body; all that load in the pelvic area and stretch to your tummy muscles not to mention your pelvic floor. For some ladies, the road to recovery can be long, winding and bumpy and for some they bounce back on a pogo stick. Post natal physiotherapy will help you along that path.
So you’ve had your baby – Congratulations; a huge achievement! But now you feel like maybe you’ve lost some body confidence. You might be struggling with symptoms of bladder leaking. You may have low back pain or continued pelvic girdle pain. You may have a bit of a pouch at the front of your tummy that you can’t get seem to shift even though the rest of your body baby weight has dropped off. We’re here to help with your concerns.
Below are some common issues post baby. If any of them resonate with you, you’re worried and need some support, then do come and have a chat. We will put a plan together to see how we can get you back to what you want to be able to do.
Diastasis Recti is the posh term for a separation of the tummy muscles vertically down the centre. Your outer tummy muscles are known as Rectus Abdominus. They are more familiarly known as those “six-pack” muscles we’d all love to have? They are joined by a line of connective tissue called the Linea Alba. When you carry your growing bubs the muscles separate. They are helped along by that tissue-relaxing hormone called relaxin. A common separation is about 1-2 fingers width during and after pregnancy. In some cases the tummy muscles can separate a bit more than usual and, if more than 2 fingers width, it can be problematic.
For some ladies, it can weaken the abdominal muscles. This can be connected to abdominal , pelvic and back pain and can bulge leaving some women with a post baby pouch. This can remain even when the ‘baby weight’ comes off.
Physiotherapy is effective in working towards ‘closing the gap’ post birth. An appointment will involve assessment of the separation, lower back and pelvis. Special exercises are tailored to you. We will offer advice on how to care for your tummy in the post natal period to avoid increasing the separation and other related issues. These can include back pain and in some cases hernias.
If you’re worried come and see us. If you want to try and crack on your own, here are some useful hints and tips:
- Lighten up the load! If you’re tummy muscles bulge on the activity you’re doing, it’s too much for them so STOP!!
- Stomach crunches done badly (which invariably they are) can be terrible for your neck and low back. There are a million more ways to restore that flat tummy!
- Hold your baby centrally in a sling maybe but avoid the one hip hold. Before long you’ll start favouring a hip to rest your baby on and problems may start.
- Get a loved one to do the lifting, carrying, hoovering for you! Anything strenuous that you can’t manage – delegate!
- Get up from lying by rolling on to your side and pushing yourself up with your arms. Avoid that pulling-twisting- on-your- tummy kinda thing.
- Support your tummy muscles when you cough. Help them take the sudden increase in pressure around the abdomen , lower back and pelvis area. Have a squeeze of that pelvic floor to make it extra safe.
Forget mind the gap, let’s close the gap!
Pelvic Floor Weakness/ Urinary Incontinence
Your pelvic floor can weaken during your pregnancy and labour due to the sheer amount of load and stretch placed on the muscle fibres. Even if you’ve had a Caesarian section your pelvic floor may well have become lengthened and weak. During a vaginal birth, the nerve which supplies the pelvic floor can also become stretched and bruised. This occurs especially if you’ve had an assisted delivery (forceps/ventouse) or your labour was long. All this can contribute to symptoms of urinary incontinence post birth, low back pain or persistent pelvic pain.
If you’re worried about any of the above then come and see me for a friendly, informative and helpful appointment.
Prolapses are very common so you’re not alone if you’re struggling with this. The organs of a woman’s pelvis (uterus, bladder and rectum) are normally held in place by a set of muscles and ligaments which make up the pelvic floor. If the pelvic floor has become weak and stretched through child birth, then these pelvic organs can bulge into the vagina. Prolapses can be quite mild with a little bit of bulging or can be more severe when the bulge actually protrudes from the vagina. So what does this feel like? Discomfort, heaviness, “something coming down” – worse at the end of the day perhaps or after more strenuous activity.
Changes to your lifestyle, diet and physiotherapy can help manage the symptoms of prolapse. If it’s a more severe case and other options haven’t helped then surgery is an option. Needless to say, there are plenty of avenues for help so book an appointment and come and have a chat.
Return to Exercise
Some women in the post natal period would like to return to exercise, but plenty are scared of the effect it might have on the body. Some feel trapped because before you could put on your runners and just get out, but now it’s not so simple. If you would like a ‘fit to be fit’ warranty then book in for an appointment we can put a paced and progressive plan together. We can help you get back to what YOU want to do with some added tips of how you can make it possible with a new bubs in tow.
Getting out there and moving comes down to choice and even with a baby you will be able to find pockets of time.
Call us now and post natal physiotherapy can start helping today!