“You had a baby! Congratulations! Is he/she/they sleeping at night? What’d he/she/they weigh? Are they a “good” baby? How often do they eat?”
When you have a baby, there are SO MANY questions that get asked about the new human in your life. Over and over. Which is great, but the world is forgetting to ask the person who BROUGHT THAT NEW HUMAN INTO THIS WORLD how THEY are doing! If you are seeing an OB they don’t even ask how you are doing for 6 weeks!! It’s insane! Women are expected to give birth then bounce back in 2 days. What about the havoc that happened to your pelvic floor? Ignored. What about all the new demands on your body from your little one, including feeding (whether breast or bottle fed), carrying them around, getting on (and back up from) the floor for tummy time or diaper changes? You are just expected to deal with it, and very few women are referred for any services to help with painful symptoms and weakness.
Physical therapy is yet another service that is grossly under-serving the postpartum population. Your body is capable of miraculous changes in order to carry a child and give birth, then it’s just left to “figure it out”. Your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles were stretched to the max, your low back and pelvis had to figure out a way to tote you and your bundle(s) of joy around for 9+ months, and your shoulders/neck have to deal with other parts of your body rapidly changing in size. Physical therapy is essential in restoring your core & pelvic floor strength and function. A postpartum physical therapist can show you how to improve your posture, alleviating back/hip/pelvic/neck/shoulder pain. If your little one is 4 months old and you are still walking around like you are pregnant, you are going to have ongoing pain.
Physical Therapy with a specialized, postpartum physical therapist immediately after birth prevents a wide variety of problems that our society (and a lot of physicians) have told mamas to just deal with. Peeing your pants (even just a little), back pain every time your pick up your baby, neck and shoulder pain from childcare, difficulty with sexual relations and strange new sensations between your legs can be ELIMINATED with the right posture, core strengthening and good advice.
Mothers are TOUGH and can handle anything, but they don’t have to be after having a baby. During this most vulnerable time for your body, please seek physical therapy with a postpartum specialist to restore your core and prevent chronic problems.
Thankfully, in Des Moines the physical therapists at Breathe. Physical Therapy & Wellness offer this kind of specialized care. Call us at 515-954-7606, or check us out on our website or facebook to find out how we can help.