Why Everyone Should See A Pelvic Physiotherapist After Giving Birth (Guest Post by Trang Bùi)
Note from Alex:
I’m a firm believer in the importance of pelvic physiotherapy at every stage of the pregnancy journey - in particular, during my belly binding sessions, I always recommend a pelvic physio visit at about six weeks postpartum. So I asked local pelvic physiotherapist Trang Bùi to share some information with us. Trang is highly skilled and she includes other modalities in her treatment plans, which I think is pretty cool! Enjoy the post - and remember, even if you’re many months or years postpartum, it’s never too late to have a pelvic health check-up.
Congratulations! Pregnancy can be tough, and you did it! While pregnant, I’m sure you did everything you could to stay healthy for your baby. Now that the little one is here, self care might not be the first on your list but it’s important to stay healthy so that you can be there for your little angel.
Postpartum recovery is a process and it can be a struggle with so much information available online these days. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many moms are in the position with similar questions such as, “When can I start exercising again?”, “What’s the deal with my mummy tummy?”, and “Is my lower back pain normal?”
As a pelvic physiotherapist, I work with many expecting and new moms in my Toronto practice, InvigoPhysio. I understand the struggles and challenges of postpartum recovery and want you to know that pelvic physiotherapy can help you get in touch with your new body!
Why is it important to get checked after birth by a pelvic physiotherapist?
During pregnancy, your pelvic floor is under a lot of pressure and your abdominals are constantly getting stretched out by your growing baby. With vaginal delivery, there’s an additional strain on your pelvic floor. With C-section delivery, your abdomen goes through a surgery and scar adhesion can affect abdominal muscles activation.
Checking for ab separation and pelvic floor strength isn’t always a part of your final check-up with your doctor or midwife. By seeing a pelvic physio, you’ll make sure that your body is healing well and learn how to safely return to exercise.
What could happen to my pelvic floor after birth?
The most common signs of a pelvic floor that isn’t working for you are:
bladder or bowel incontinence (i.e. leaking!)
feelings of pressure ‘down there’
sensation of something coming down into the vagina
Sometimes a weak pelvic floor can also contribute to persistent lower back and hip pain. Also, pelvic floor weakness can delay the healing of your ab separation. I usually recommend seeing a pelvic physiotherapist at 6 weeks postpartum for an internal pelvic floor exam.
What can I expect from my first pelvic floor assessment?
The goal of the initial assessment is to help you learn what is happening with your body after birth. I always start with chatting about your medical history and health goals as well as your pregnancy and motherhood journey. This helps me get to know you as a person. The next step is the physical exam which includes a global movement observation and internal pelvic exam. The latter part is where people tend to get nervous. It’s actually more comfortable than a pap test and you’ll come out of it knowing so much more about your area down there. It shouldn’t trigger any pain but if it is, that means your pelvic floor needs attention. In that case, you’re already in the right place to deal with the problem!
At the end of the exam, we’ll sit down to go over the findings and create a plan that is customized to your needs and that fits in with your lifestyle. I love to think of my role as your cheerleader and I’m here to help you achieve your goals!
If you’re still not sure, you can find out more here.
I would love to come but I have to bring my baby with me. Is it ok?
Absolutely! I love meeting my clients’ babies. Not everyone has the option for childcare so I’m happy to welcome your baby at your appointment.
What is your physiotherapy treatment approach, Trang?
I strongly believe that each of us is unique and our bodies’ needs are different. Your lifestyle is also a key to the success of the therapy program. I take all of these, plus your health goals, into consideration when creating a treatment plan for you. Depending on what works for you, my treatment could include a mix of:
Manual therapy (including visceral mobilization)
Pilates exercises on mat and/or reformer
Pelvic health and movement is my passion. I’m here to help you recover and get back to being the super mom you are!
Trang Bui is a physiotherapist in the West End of Toronto. Her practice focuses on treating different pelvic floor dysfunctions and providing pre- and post-natal support. As a strong believer in movement therapy, she loves helping mamas get more physical and feel stronger inside out. To find out more about Trang, visit www.invigophysio.com/about and book your appointment here.