Some people think urinary incontinence is to be expected after having a baby. Sneeze and pee, right? Here the doctors at Body Central Physical Therapy discuss why this doesn’t have to be your new “normal” and how physical therapy can help with a plethora of issues after baby arrives:
Birthing causes trauma to tissues just like any other injury or surgery. Many times, after a birth (either vaginal or cesarean), muscles, ligaments, pelvic alignment, and tissues can be irritated or in a state of dysfunction. Without assistance of pelvic floor therapy, these lingering dysfunctions will continue years after birth. Leaking urine when jumping or sneezing, while common, is not normal for a postpartum body and it generally means there is an underlying issue with the coordination and/or strength of the pelvic floor muscles. There are also the potential added challenges of scarring, tissue asymmetry, pelvic alignment, and posturing dysfunctions. These all can be assessed after birth which allow the new mother to rehabilitate her body in order to strengthen and stabilize the pelvis to reduce long lasting effects or complaints.
Postpartum care can include a myriad of diagnoses. All can be assessed through physical therapy and properly assigned exercises to improve mobility and function and to relieve pain.
Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment because every woman is different, most women can benefit from transverse abdominus strengthening along with pelvic floor conditioning. Gentle stretching to relieve achiness caused by breastfeeding, holding a new baby, or lugging around a carseat is beneficial. Resting whenever possible and using relaxation techniques are wonderful for tuning back in with yourself and your body, which is often lost when constantly caring for a newborn. Call Body Central Physical Therapy today and let them “mother the new mother” in this critical fourth trimester.