The Ultimate Form of Self Care

After you give birth, your babies get check-ups 3 to 5 days after birth, and then at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24 months. After you give birth, you have a check up immediately after giving birth and then at 6 weeks. It’s obvious that baby is taken care of, but who is taking care of you?

In Europe, women are automatically referred to a Pelvic Physical Therapist to re-train their abdominal muscles and pelvic floor that are put through the ringer during pregnancy and childbirth. These women receive this specialized care to prevent and resolve common conditions that come with childbirth—incontinence, pelvic pain, pain with sex, prolapse, and back pain.

In the US, women get one visit with their obstetrician 6 weeks after giving birth and are typically given the go-ahead to resume normal activity and exercise.

Our moms deserve better care than this.

During pregnancy, your body changes rapidly—your abdominals stretch to make room for your growing baby, you stand with your feet further apart, your posture changes, and all of this puts pressure on your pelvic floor. Then comes childbirth, where your pelvic floor is stretched or even torn with a vaginal birth or your abdominal muscles are cut for a c-section. Saying your body goes though major changes is an understatement.

Because of these changes, it’s common for women to experience urinary incontinence, Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation), pelvic pain, and pain with sex after childbirth....

80 percent of women who have vaginal deliveries have experienced tearing of the pelvic skin and muscles...

44 percent of women experience incontinence...

85 percent of women have pain the first time they have sex after childbirth and almost a quarter of them still do at 18 months postpartum...

40 percent of women have Diastasis Recti at 6 months postpartum...

If problems are left untreated, over time they can lead to low-back pain and hip problems, urinary and bowel function issues such as urgency, frequency, burning, constipation, anal pain, and infection and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which the bladder, uterus or other organs descend into the vagina.

What’s even more startling, studies show that even if women feel fine after childbirth, many women experience these issues 6 to 10 years later!

ALL WOMEN should see a Physical Therapist after giving birth. Even if you feel fine, you want to ensure your pelvic floor, diaphragm, and abdominals are working correctly to prevent prolapse, incontinence, and pain. It is so much easier (and cheaper) to prevent problems than it is to treat them!

If you are one of the many who do NOT feel fine after childbirth, it’s that much more important for you to receive specialized care from a Physical Therapist after giving birth.

There has been a lot of talk about self-care in recent years...with our on the go lives, constant social media notifications, and endless to-do lists, it's never been more important to take time for ourselves and it is paramount for moms who tend to put everyone else first.

Moms may choose to get a pedicure...get a facial...spend time alone...get a drink with their favorite TV a book...

Others may choose to see a Physical Therapist so they don't pee when they sneeze, have pain with sex, pee every 30 minutes, have an abdominal pooch, have back pain when picking up their child, ...

And you know what? I think that is the ultimate form of self care.

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