Did you know that in France, seeing a pelvic physiotherapist post-partum is the standard of care? Unfortunately, this is not the case in Canada, but below are 5 reasons why you should see a pelvic physio – just because you are a woman!
- Correct ‘mummy tummy’
The actual term for ‘mummy tummy’ is Diastasis Recti, or Diastasis Rectus Abdominis, which refers to when the abdominal muscles become separated. This will happen with pregnancy, as our stomachs need to expand to make way for a growing baby! The separation becomes problematic when the muscles do not re-tension to close this gap postpartum (this is very common).
This separation between the abs, can cause core weakness and lower back pain, amongst other symptoms. A pelvic floor physiotherapist (or one of our personal trainers) can help to assess the size of the separation, and assist in closing the separation so you can get back to your pre-baby exercises with a strong & functional core!
- Pain or discomfort with intercourse
Sex is never supposed to hurt!! And if it does, then this pain should not be ignored! Pain can be at the entrance, or with deep penetration. But regardless of where it is felt, it can be treated with pelvic physiotherapy!
Tearing can occur during the birthing process, leading to scar tissue build up, and potential tightening of the pelvic floor muscles.
A pelvic physiotherapist can assess the reason for painful intercourse and help to reduce the tone in the pelvic floor muscles by releasing scar tissue to help you get back to enjoying intimacy to its fullest!
Leaking pee when you cough or sneeze? Needing to run with an absorbent pad? Leaking on your way to the toilet?
Leakage should never happen! Is leakage common? Yes! Normal? No!
Pelvic floor physiotherapists can cure any incontinence… and kegels may not be the answer for everyone! But if they are right for you, a pelvic floor physiotherapist can make sure you are performing them correctly. Kegels don’t work if they’re not performed properly!
- Treat or prevent the furthering of a pelvic organ prolapse
The trauma on the pelvic floor due to carrying and then delivering your baby can cause a pelvic organ prolapse. This is basically when your organs start to descend down into your vagina… and no, this is not a joke, it happens often! Many women are actually unaware they have a prolapse, often until they begin to feel symptoms such as a bulging through their vagina.
Pelvic floor physiotherapists can identify whether you have a prolapse, and improve it. If a prolapse is left untreated, the prolapse can descend further down.
- Before getting back to exercise
Even if you don’t believe you have any of the above issues, pelvic physiotherapy should be your first stop prior to getting back to exercise post-partum. Especially before beginning any ‘core’ or abdominal exercises.
Performing exercises that are inappropriate for you, can further increase the risk of injury, or the chance of pelvic floor dysfunction.
The pelvic floor works in conjunction with the rest of your ‘core’, and requires the participation of the rest of those muscles for proper functioning.
It is important to get your pelvic floor assessed and educated on safe activities to ensure you are ready to exercise post-partum. And once you are cleared it would be very beneficial to continue working with a qualified professional who is trained specifically to work with post-partum women.
Regardless of whether you have had a baby recently, a long time ago, or never plan on having kids, we believe seeing a pelvic physiotherapist for an assessment should be part of every woman’s self-care plan.