Physical Therapy During Pregnancy and Post-Partum Care

Pregnancy Therapy Program

Hello From Your Friendly “New” Local Pelvic Health Physical Therapist!

Pregnancy and the birth of a new baby are some of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, but can often come with unforeseen challenges. Did you know that there are physical therapists specially trained to treat moms who are pregnant and postpartum? Often in pregnancy, women can experience symptoms that range from mild annoyance to severe pain and debilitation. These symptoms can include:
• Low Back Pain
• Pelvic Pain
• Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine)
• Constipation
• Separation of the Abdominal Muscles Called Diastasis Recti
• Pubic Symphysis Separation
• Wrist and Hand Pain

Frequently, women are told, “These symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy,” “Ignore it and it will go away once you give birth.” This response is not adequate and is not the case!!! All these issues are treatable through physical therapy by a women’s physical therapy specialist. Additionally, after birth, these problems may not resolve. For example, if a woman experiences incontinence during pregnancy, it is unlikely to spontaneously resolve on its own postpartum. Some minor leakage for 3-4 weeks after delivery is normal, but overall involuntary loss of urine is not normal and should be addressed by a physical therapist specially trained to treat pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

In France, women are automatically referred for postpartum physical therapy. In the United States, mothers typically receive one follow up visit to their referring practitioner. This one visit is not necessarily enough to recover from birth and to thoroughly assess a women’s return to her pre-pregnancy state. This is where pelvic health physical therapy can help! A pelvic health therapist is trained to assess the function of your pelvic floor muscles, check your abdomen for diastasis recti, and to assess any perineal or abdominal scars you may have from tearing, episiotomy, or cesarean birth. Physical therapists are fortunate to have the time to spend with patients to provide a lot of the education regarding changes that occur during pregnancy and after delivery. You can expect to spend 40 minutes to an hour at your appointment with your physical therapist. Your PT can help you learn safe lifting mechanics for your new baby, positioning for breastfeeding, talk to you about returning to intercourse, and what to expect in regards to your body’s changes after you’ve had a baby.

If you’re not yourself during or after pregnancy, give us a call! We can help!

Aquacare Physical Therapy has specialized pelvic floor therapist specialized in the treatment of pregnancy and post-partum musculoskeletal issues. In most cases you do not need a physician referral and treatment is covered by most insurances. Call our offices to schedule an appointment or a free consultation with one of our pelvic floor therapists.

By: Genevieve Tatara DPT, Pelvic Floor Specialist In Lewes, Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland.

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