“Postpartum care should become an ongoing process, rather than a single encounter, with services and support tailored to each woman’s individual needs. It is recommended that all women have contact with their obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers within the first 3 weeks postpartum.”
The most common condition of birthers seen by Pelvic Floor Therapy is leakage, abdominal separation, and perineal pain. Old-school thinking was to wait 6-8 weeks until Ob-Gyn appointment before beginning Pelvic Floor Therapy. Rather than an arbitrary “6-week check”, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the timing of the comprehensive postpartum visit be individualized and women centered.
What is the benefit of starting early postpartum Pelvic PT after birth by week 2-3?
- Safe mobility instruction to reduce pain & promote optimal function
- Bodywork massage to increase circulation, reduce muscle tension & stress
- Clinical screen of blood pressure, heart rate, and postpartum mood issues
- Provide strategies for bladder and bowel issues that may be present
- Set foundation by initiating breathwork and pelvic floor-core coordination recovery
What about an internal pelvic floor exam?
- Intra-vaginal penetration is avoided for initial 6 weeks to prevent infection and allow for tissue healing
- There is great benefit to external bodywork and education for foundation building
- Corrective spine, hip, and abdominal exercises can help prevent pelvic floor problems
- Internal pelvic floor therapy can be initiated after week 6
In my opinion, there is great wisdom in early intervention with ancient traditional postpartum practices. During the initial 30-40 days, mothers are supported by a community of friends and family. The emphasis is “rest and bonding” for tissue healing not “bounce back”. Postpartum care included warm compresses, healing foods, herbs with therapeutic massage and abdominal supports. It began on day one not week six!
Early bodywork with gentle movement and muscle activation promotes muscle memory, facilitates healing, and prevention of pelvic overload. PLAN AHEAD!! Postpartum packages are available incorporating traditional techniques and modern, evidenced-based care.
Schedule postpartum Pelvic Floor PT sessions in advance by calling 301-381-4551