Benefits of Postpartum Physical Therapy

The female body undergoes many physiological and anatomical changes during pregnancy. Upon delivery, these changes do not just evaporate. They need to be addressed. In France, a government funded prescription for physical therapy is given to every mother shortly after she has given birth. You might be wondering why physical therapy and how can it help? Well, read on! 

Muscles grossly affected during pregnancy include abdominals, diaphragm and the pelvic floor. These muscles help us breathe properly, perform daily activities without pain and have a regular, leak-free bowel and bladder routine. During pregnancy these muscles are grossly elongated and therefore, need to be assessed, re-educated and strengthened after pregnancy. This will allow the mom to achieve her prior level of function pain-free. Pelvic floor physical therapists have the knowledge and expertise to assess, manage, prevent, and re-educate the moms as necessary after birth.

Here are some tips on resuming daily activities after childbirth:

  1. Get help with tasks that involve heavy lifting. Your body has gone through many changes; you reserve the right to ask for help!
  2. Focus on breathing. Breathing may be difficult because your primary breathing muscle, the diaphragm, was pushed upwards during pregnancy. This can cause the diaphragm to become inefficient. Physical therapists can help administer appropriate breathing techniques.
  3. Perform GENTLE core exercises for at least 6 weeks after giving birth. Physical therapists can help with this too!

Have you given birth recently? We strongly suggest you go see a Women's Health Physical Therapist! Make an appointment at Apex Physical Therapy today, or go see one in your area! 

Meghna Jain, SPT

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