Do I Need Postpartum Pelvic Floor Therapy?
In France, every woman who gives birth is referred for a pelvic floor assessment and recovery plan. It is just part of the process there, and for good reason. Most women experience some degree of dysfunction after having a baby, from a two finger gap in their abdominal wall, that causes a belly pooch (called a diastasis recti) to painful intercourse to severe incontinence. Mama, you do not have to wear a pad every day for the rest of your life just because you had a baby!
We make jokes about it--not being able to jump on trampolines or sneeze without peeing--but when pelvic floor issues impact your everyday life, they are not very funny. I have heard many mothers say something along the lines of, "It feels like my body is betraying me."
We in the U.S. are behind France when it comes to being proactive about postpartum recovery, but it is available here. You may have to take charge of your health and ask your doctor or midwife for the closest therapist.
Do you suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction? Symptoms include:
*Pain during intercourse
*Difficulty eliminating (constipation)
*Belly pooch from abdominal separation (diastastis recti)
*Many mothers report a feeling of, "Things just aren't right down there."
There are exercises an educated therapist can guide you through to support healing the abdominal muscles and restoring the integrity of the pelvic floor. Deep, mindful breathing down into your belly is a wonderful place to start in the meantime. Although you will always be a woman who has given birth, you can go back to a life of peeing normally and enjoying intercourse. Love yourself, mama!