Regardless of the type of delivery you have had, your body can feel sore and painful for many reasons. Sometimes Post-Pregnancy Physiotherapy is provided in hospitals. However, if you have a home birth or are discharged early, you may not be lucky enough to see a physiotherapist. This article explores the benefits of Post-Pregnancy Physiotherapy for new mums.
Your health is such an essential element to surviving those first few early months and being able to enjoy some of the precious moments of motherhood. When your body is trying to recover, and your hormones are all over the place, it can sometimes feel like you are falling apart. After all, if you and your body are not functioning well, it becomes more difficult to care for your baby.
This is where post-natal physiotherapy comes in handy to help you fully recover after birth!
Physiotherapy for women’s health can be built into your post-natal recovery plan to help you feel yourself again, regain your body strength and avoid long-term health issues.
Specifically, Post-Pregnancy Physiotherapy or, as we call it, a Mummy MOT screening can highlight any areas you may need to address to prevent long-term pain or dysfunction. It can also help to guide you safely back to pre-pregnancy exercise and fitness levels over a suitable period.
In moments of pain and dysfunction, Post-Pregnancy Physiotherapy can be a real lifesaver in the early days and weeks following childbirth. The treatments are tailored to you and aim to help Mums feel themselves again, regain their body strength and avoid long-term health issues.
Here are a few reasons why new Mums may wish to request a physiotherapy appointment in the first few days or weeks after birth:
– Caesarean section pain or swelling
– Perineal pain, bruising or tenderness.
– Breastfeeding complications: engorgement, blocked ducts, nipple pain or damage
– Bladder leakage, bladder urgency or lack of sensation to urinate.
– Pelvic pain (difficulty walking, going upstairs or handling weight)
– Neck pain or back pain
– Abdominal gap (Diastasis recti)
Early intervention is key to ensuring the best possible recovery if you are suffering from any of these post-pregnancy injuries.
A physiotherapist specialising in women’s health can assist with c-section pain, swelling, and scar tissue management to prevent adhesions or discomfort as your surgery site recovers.
For Mums birthing vaginally, bruising or stitches are very common. Treatment for these issues can help you sit, walk, and function much more comfortably. You can also return to sexual activity without discomfort.
A women’s health physiotherapist will be happy to see Mums at any stage. It is vital to recognise that your body will continue recovering, re-balancing and replenishing essential minerals for 12-18 months. Any persisting physical issues are worth speaking to your physiotherapist about.
Common reasons to return to physio include:
– Ongoing postural pain
– Problems when you try to exercise (bladder, bowel or muscular)
– Wrist pain (caused by repeated actions when caring for your growing baby)
– Sexual dysfunction (pain, lack of sensation, anxiety, lack of pleasure)
If specific target areas have been identified at your post-natal screening, you may require a full pelvic health screening and internal exam. This is done to assess your pelvic floor muscles, often after around 3 months.
You don’t have to wait until then if you have any concerns about your health. Again, speak to a post-pregnancy physiotherapist to help protect you and your baby’s health after childbirth. You may also require professional help as you return to any loaded exercise activity to avoid any issues.
For those moms with an uncomplicated recovery period, it is recommended that every woman has a screening at 6-12 weeks post-birth. Your obstetrician or GP will screen for medical matters such as thyroid levels and wound healing, while a physiotherapist will run through a checklist of physical recovery.
We all experience different challenges as we enter motherhood! This screening can highlight any areas you may need to address to prevent longer-term pain or dysfunction. It can also help to guide you back to pre-pregnancy exercise and fitness levels over a suitable period. More importantly, a screening check should be tailored for each woman.
Common issues affect women in the short and long term after childbirth, from bowel dysfunction, back pain, wrist pain, pelvic floor dysfunction and more. Don’t wait until these issues crop up or worsen to seek help.
Talk to a specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist who will walk you towards full health and fitness after giving birth.
Find out about the range of women’s health services we offer at our Clapham and Wimbledon injury rehabilitation clinics.
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