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Beyond Childbirth: How Pelvic Floor PT Improves Women’s Health Postpartum

How Pelvic Floor PT Improves Women's Health Postpartum - AboutBoulder.com

After having a baby, many new moms focus on taking care of their baby. But it’s also important for moms to take care of themselves. One way they can do this is through something called pelvic floor physical therapy (PT). This kind of therapy helps women heal and feel better after giving birth. It focuses on a part of the body called the pelvic floor, which can be affected by childbirth.

In this article, we’ll explain what pelvic floor PT is, why it’s helpful, and how it can improve a woman’s health after she has a baby.

What is Pelvic Floor PT?

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) is a special kind of care that focuses on the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are in the lower part of your belly, from your hips to your pelvis. During and after pregnancy, these muscles can get weak or tight, which can cause problems like leaking urine when you don’t want to or feeling pain. That’s where pelvic floor PT comes in. It helps to strengthen and relax these muscles so they work better.

A physical therapist who knows about the pelvic floor will show you exercises and teach you techniques to help these muscles. This kind of therapy is not just for women who had a tough delivery, even if your delivery went well, you might still benefit from it. It’s about getting your strength back and feeling good in your body again.

The Pelvic Floor and Childbirth

Childbirth is a big event for your body, especially for your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support organs like the bladder and uterus. When you’re pregnant, they carry the weight of your growing baby, and during childbirth, they stretch a lot. This can make them weak or lead to injury.

Many women notice changes after having a baby, like having a hard time controlling their bladder. Some feel discomfort or even pain in their pelvic area, which can last long after the baby is born. These are signs that your pelvic floor might not be recovering well.

That’s why paying attention to your pelvic floor after childbirth is so important. Pelvic floor PT can help fix these problems. It can make your muscles stronger and help them work better, which helps you feel better, too.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor PT Postpartum

Pelvic floor PT has a lot of benefits for women after childbirth. Here are some of the ways it can help you feel better and healthier:

  • Better bladder and bowel control: One of the most common issues after giving birth is leaking urine when you laugh, cough, or exercise. Pelvic floor PT can help you control your bladder and bowel movements better.
  • Reduced pain: If you have pain in your lower back or pelvic area, pelvic floor exercises can help reduce this pain.
  • Faster recovery from childbirth: Pelvic floor PT can speed up your recovery from delivery by helping your pelvic area heal.
  • Improved sexual health: This therapy can also help if you’re having discomfort during sex after your baby is born. Strengthening your pelvic floor can improve your comfort and pleasure.

 

Many women have seen big improvements in their health with pelvic floor PT. Doctors and physical therapists who work with postpartum women often hear them say how much better they feel after starting therapy.

Key Exercises in Pelvic Floor PT

Pelvic floor physical therapy includes a variety of exercises that target the muscles in the pelvic area. These exercises help strengthen and relax the pelvic floor, which can improve overall pelvic health. Here are some key exercises often recommended by therapists:

  • Kegels: These are the most well-known pelvic floor exercises. They involve tightening and holding the muscles that you would use to stop urinating. Doing Kegels regularly can strengthen these muscles and help with bladder control.
  • Bridges: Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lift your hips towards the ceiling. This exercise not only helps strengthen the pelvic floor but also works the buttocks and lower back.
  • Squats: Proper squats not only work your legs and buttocks but also engage the pelvic floor muscles when done correctly.
  • Pelvic Tilts: This gentle exercise helps engage and strengthen the pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles. You can perform pelvic tilts lying down, standing, or on all fours.

 

Your physical therapist will show you how to do these exercises correctly and safely. They might also use tools like biofeedback, where sensors help you see how well you are engaging your pelvic floor muscles. This feedback can be really helpful in making sure you are doing the exercises right.

How Pelvic Floor PT Improves Women's Health Postpartum - AboutBoulder.com

Finding and Working with a Pelvic Floor Therapist

Finding a good pelvic floor therapist can make a big difference in your postpartum recovery. Look for a licensed physical therapist who specializes in women’s health or pelvic rehabilitation. You can ask your doctor for a referral or search for therapists who are members of professional organizations like the American Physical Therapy Association.

When you start working with a pelvic floor therapist, they will assess your condition and create a personalized plan based on your needs. A typical session might include:

  • A review of your medical history and any symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Physical exams to check the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Guided exercises that you’ll do together in the clinic and as homework.
  • Discussions about your progress and any adjustments needed to your treatment plan.

Conclusion

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a valuable tool for women recovering from childbirth. It helps address common issues like pain, weak muscles, and bladder control problems. By focusing on strengthening and healing the pelvic floor, this therapy can greatly improve your quality of life postpartum.

If you’ve recently had a baby and are experiencing any symptoms related to your pelvic floor, consider reaching out to a pelvic floor therapist. It’s an important step towards taking care of your body and ensuring a healthy recovery after childbirth.

John Mali Director of Media Relations

Director of Media Relations at AboutBoulder.com

john@aboutboulder.com

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