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What is postpartum physical therapy and do all new mothers need it?

Women’s bodies go through a lot during and immediately after pregnancy. In many cases, women are aware of issues that can crop up during pregnancy. However, many aren’t as familiar with the issues that can occur after their child is born. 

Postpartum is a word that refers to the period after childbirth. Pelvic pain is a common issue that affects women postpartum, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 women experiences pelvic pain at some point in her pregnancy. One option that can help women deal with this and other postpartum issues is postpartum physical therapy

What is postpartum physical therapy?

This type of therapy is specifically designed to help women deal with pelvic pain and other postpartum issues. It typically involves a therapist assessing you to see what issues you have. Postpartum therapy plans can be personalized to fit your needs. They may include specific strengthening or stretching exercises, and such plans can also use therapy techniques like: 

  • Biofeedback
  • Manual therapy
  • Education about your condition

Additionally, one study shows that physical therapy helped reduce pelvic pain in 63% of the patients who received it

Two reasons every new mother needs postpartum physical therapy

Most physical therapists encourage women to seek physical therapy after their child is born. There are two reasons in particular that therapy should be sought postpartum. These reasons are: 

  1. Helps prevent muscle issues — The pelvic floor and abdominal muscles are heavily involved in birthing children. Postpartum, these muscles might be overstretched or not work normally. A medical study reports that 58% of women who had spontaneous vaginal delivery developed pelvic floor dysfunctions. Physical therapists can assess the status of your pelvic floor and ab muscles. They can also help you retrain these muscles to function properly. Getting help early can help you avoid back pain and other issues linked to problems with the pelvic floor and ab muscles. 
  1. Treats urinary incontinence — It’s common for women to have involuntary urine leakage during and after pregnancy. One study showed that on average, 41% of pregnant women experience urinary incontinence (UI). Pelvic floor muscle issues can also lead to postpartum UI. A study shows that pelvic floor therapy can help treat UI. The study reveals that women who had pelvic floor therapy for three months reported 75% fewer leakage episodes

Back in Motion offers postpartum physical therapy

Are you or someone you know looking for postpartum physical therapy? You can find it at Back in Motion. Our women’s health specialists can assess your body with a free screening. This screening is designed to pinpoint the issues you’re dealing with postpartum. Also, our team is experienced at creating postpartum therapy plans to fit a patient’s individual needs. We even offer virtual and at-home appointments to help protect you and your newborn from COVID-19. 

Contact our team today for more information about our women’s health services or to schedule a free screening. 

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