After the birth of your baby, there are plenty of things to focus on: caring for your new child, trying to get enough sleep at night, and navigating parenthood. While these things may take up a majority of your time, taking care of yourself and your health is just as critical; especially your pelvic health.
What is Pelvic Physical Therapy?
Many people suffer from pelvic health disorders such as pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and more; however, it is especially common in post-partum women. Our Pelvic Health Team is here to help you improve function so you can engage in all aspects of your life without limitation from pelvic health disorders. Pelvic physical therapy is a specific type of physical therapy used to improve or restore pelvic floor muscle function, decrease pain, and improve bowel and bladder control and function. Learn more about our pelvic health services here.
How common are post-partum pelvic floor dysfunctions?
Pelvic floor dysfunctions are very common in post-partum women. Take a look at some of the statistics below:
- Pelvic floor dysfunctions can occur in up to 46% of women post-partum. (Source: Soligo et al. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 2016 )
- Approximately one-third of women will experience some form of urinary incontinence post-partum and 20% will continue to experience incontinence three months post-partum. (Source: Torrisi et al. . European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 2012)
- Pelvic Girdle pain during pregnancy is as high as 50% and 1 in 4 of these women will develop chronic pain post-partum. (Source: Ostgaard et al. 1991)
While these numbers may be alarming, they are not meant to scare you. They simply serve as an important reminder to take notice of your own pelvic health after giving birth, so you can begin treatment if it is needed.
There are several common symptoms that can occur in the immediate post-partum period, such as mild pelvic, tailbone, back or hip pain, and mild urinary or fecal incontinence. If any of these are severe, significantly affect your ability to complete daily tasks, or persist past the six-week post-partum check, it is important to discuss these issues with your physician and consider the need for a pelvic physical therapy referral.
Pelvic Physical Therapy Treatment
If it is determined that pelvic physical therapy is needed, you will be in good hands with our team of women’s pelvic health experts. While the recovery period ultimately depends on the severity of impairments and the activities that you would like to return to, many women have started to see results just a few weeks after beginning pelvic physical therapy.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Women’s Pelvic Health webpage, or listen to the podcast from Pelvic Health Physical Therapist, Kim Fletcher.