Hi Mamas! This blog specifically applies to the newly postpartum. Did you know that in Kansas you don’t need your doctor to refer you to see a physical therapist? Did you also know that a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health should be your go to before you get back to exercise? Have you tried to return to exercise yet? If you have, hold up! I want to share with you what you need to know (and do) BEFORE jumping back into your workout routine.
First off, EVERY woman should see a pelvic health specialist in physical therapy around 6 weeks postpartum. Here is why:
- We can assess your current level of function, strength and coordination and set you up with a set of exercises that are appropriate for you.
- We can educate you about what a good core looks like for different exercises to make sure you go forward educated and empowered to avoid unnecessary injury
- We can help you heal from diastasis correctly
- we are full of wonderful knowledge that we LOVE sharing and can teach you a lot so you can return to what you love safely and timely.
- We know what you need to achieve to return to activities like running, cross fit, weightlifting etc.…
Second, if you have any symptoms lingering at 6 weeks or beyond, you absolutely need to see a postpartum specialist. Just like any muscle injury, delivery by either C-section or vaginal birth is no different. You must rehabilitate the muscle system to regain optimal function and strength. When we tear a rotator cuff or ACL, we rehab. If we don’t, we likely have weakness or pain that lingers. The pelvic floor and core are no different after baby. But…when we don’t rehab, we are left with symptoms that can really impact quality of life: pelvic organ prolapse, urinary leakage, bowel leakage, Diastasis (muscle separation) and pain and weakness. ALL these symptoms can be addressed! Without surgery, without medications, with simple work to improve the muscle coordination and strength.
Third, its so much more comfortable and easier than you think! I cannot tell you how many women cone in to see me and by the end of our first visit, are thanking me, saying “this was so comfortable and not awkward like I thought it would be!” The truth is, we are all women many of us moms too, so we get it. You will learn so much about your body, what is going on with it after baby and so much about how to begin to heal, strengthen and build coordination in your core system. And many times, if there aren’t a lot of Symptoms (Diastasis, incontinence, prolapse, bowel issues) you will only need just 3-4 visits to get you on track and back to the exercise you love!
Fourth, you may be thinking, “I’m not in a rush to get back to any exercise” OR “I’m not a big exerciser anyway, and after baby I am really not sure when I will ever exercise again”. You still need to rehab this system. When you aren’t looking to get back to anything specific other than surviving another day of baby, laundry, housework, etc.… then the process is even simpler!
Lastly, this all boils down to addressing the injuries left after childbirth and preventing things from showing up over the next few months or years in your life. It’s about prevention too! Retraining this system early on will help you to reduce the risk of these symptoms showing up as you age. So, if you’re newly postpartum, or even many months or years postpartum, set up a visit with one of our postpartum specialists. They are passionate, awesome women who love to share their knowledge and see you improve and heal after baby. Before you begin running, jumping, lifting, whatever, find out how your core system is functioning and how to get it to the level you need to be