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Pregnancy and the postpartum period introduce a range of physical and emotional changes with pelvic floor health playing a crucial, yet often underemphasized role. Pelvic floor therapy emerges as a key component in managing these changes, offering benefits that go beyond the typical concerns of pregnancy and childbirth. Origins Birth and Wellness Collective is proud to offer appointments in our clinic to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Tamra Bullard, PT, DPT owner of Tru Physical Therapy and Wellness, LLC.
This discussion highlights the importance of pelvic floor therapy for pregnant and postpartum women, focusing on its techniques, benefits, and significant impact on maternal health.
What is Pelvic Floor Therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy focusing on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues of the pelvis. Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus, and rectum, playing a crucial role in urinary control, bowel movements, and sexual function. During pregnancy and after childbirth, these muscles can weaken or become injured, leading to a range of issues such as incontinence, pain during intercourse, and pelvic organ prolapse.
Why does Origins Recommend this Therapy to Expectant and New Mothers?
Preventing and Treating Incontinence: Hormonal changes and the physical strain of carrying a baby can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, leading to urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor therapists teach you how to strengthen these muscles through prescribing home exercises, thus helping to prevent and treat this common postpartum issue.
Easing Pregnancy-Related Pain: Many women experience pelvic pain during pregnancy as the body adjusts to accommodate the growing baby. Pelvic floor therapy can alleviate discomfort with the use of manual therapy techniques (including cupping, myofascial release, and dry needling), exercise prescription and education.
Facilitating Childbirth: A strong, yet flexible pelvic floor can aid in the birthing process, potentially leading to a smoother and less painful delivery, which we know is important to you.
Postpartum Recovery: After childbirth, pelvic floor therapy facilitates the recovery of these muscles, which can be stretched or torn during delivery. This therapy is vital for restoring strength and function. Additionally, therapists address diastasis recti, scar tissue, core weakness, and orthopedic based pelvic pain after birth.
Techniques and Exercises in Pelvic Floor Therapy
Origins’ Pelvic Floor Physical therapist, Tamra, will go over a specific plan tailored to your needs, but you can expect to learn more about:
- Kegel Exercises: These involve contracting and/or relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, enhancing strength and endurance.
- Manual Therapy: Tamra may use hands-on techniques to relax and stretch tight muscles, relieving pain and improving function.
- Biofeedback: This technique uses monitoring devices to help women learn how to control and strengthen their pelvic floor muscles effectively.
- Education and Lifestyle Changes: Tamra will provide guidance on activity modification, postural awareness, diet, and exercise to support pelvic health throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period.
Pelvic floor therapy offers a pathway to improve well-being for pregnant and postpartum women. By addressing the unique challenges of this life stage, women are empowered to enjoy a healthier, more comfortable, and confident journey through motherhood. At Origins, we want you to have the healthiest pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum experience and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can help you achieve that.
Tamra specializes in pregnant and postpartum physical therapy that you can learn more about here: https://www.truptandwellness.com/prenatal-and-postpartum
Remember, consulting with a healthcare provider before beginning any new therapy is essential, especially during and after pregnancy.