Pregnancy and Postpartum

Postpartum Physical Therapy Checkup:

Have you recently had a baby and are experiencing any of these symptoms? If so you may be a perfect candidate for a postpartum physical therapy check up:

  • Pain in the pelvis, hip or back
  • Abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti)
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Episiotomy or cesarean abdominal scar pain
  • Leakage of urine with sneezing, coughing, laughing, jumping, or exercising
  • Trouble holding back or passing gas
  • Constipation
  • Trouble initiating urine flow
  • Heaviness in the vaginal/perineal area from pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary frequency

What is involved in a physical therapy postpartum check-up?

A postpartum physical therapy checkup is a comprehensive evaluation performed by a women’s health pelvic floor physical therapist specialist.

The checkup will include:

  • Detailed medical history including pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, labor and delivery.
  • Review of current symptoms/concerns/goals.
  • Extensive review of related anatomy and patient education.
  • Assessment of patient’s posture, pelvic alignment, full body and trunk strength and mobility evaluation.
  • Pelvic floor evaluation: Including internal examination if consented by patient/MD in order to examine for prolapse, pain, muscle tone, weakness and coordination.
  • Abdominal muscle assessment: examining core strength and test for an abdominal separation, known as a diastasis recti.
  • Assessment of episiotomy or cesarean scars.
  • Examination of breathing patterns.
  • In cases of constipation and urinary incontinence: assessment of diet, bladder irritants and hydration.

Following your PT checkup, your therapist will recommend one of the following:

  • Physical therapy treatment in the clinic.
  • Physical therapy treatment in the convenience of your home.
  • Physical therapy treatment in your home with a PT delivering services remotely via a telehealth video session.
  • Referral to a specialist.
  • A tailored home exercise program.
  • The most appropriate exercise class for your current status.

Did you know?

  • An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that among women who reported having urinary incontinence at 3 months postpartum, 76.4% reported still having it at 12 years.
  • 60% of postpartum women have a separation of their abdominal muscles, (diastasis recti) and 39% continue with abdominal issues 6 months later.
  • 24% of women have painful sex 18 months after giving birth.
  • 30% of women who have untreated pelvic pain during pregnancy later become chronic pelvic pain patients.
  • 50% of all women have pelvic organ prolapse

We have heard stories of women deciding to limit family size due to pain during or after pregnancy. You don’t have to live with pain. A women’s health physical therapist can help!

Do you need a check-up?

Every mother benefits from a postpartum check-up. Pregnancy and childbirth bring substantial changes to your body and lifestyle. This is true regardless of the medical complexity of the pregnancy and the method of delivery. Proactively addressing potential postpartum issues allows for a more speedy recovery and reduces the risk of developing chronic pelvic pain and incontinence. We are here to help identify and treat postpartum issues specific to your body and lifestyle.

Do you have pelvic floor dysfunction?

Follow the link to take the test:
www.PhysicalTherapyYourWay.net/files/pdf/CozeanPelvicDysfunctionScreeningProtocol2.pdf

When is the best time for a check-up?

While 6 – 12 weeks postpartum is the optimal time, its never too late!