After giving birth, many women experience issues related to their pelvic floor muscles. These muscles play a crucial role in supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Weakness or damage to the pelvic floor can lead to a range of problems including incontinence, prolapse, and pain during sex.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a non-invasive treatment that can help improve the strength and function of these muscles. It involves working with a specialized physiotherapist who has training in pelvic health.
In this article, we will explore what pelvic floor physiotherapy is and why it’s important for post-natal health. We’ll also discuss common conditions that can be treated with this therapy and what to expect during a typical session. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how pelvic floor physiotherapy can help improve your overall health and quality of life after giving birth.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles that stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone at the front of your body to the base of your spine at the back. These muscles support your bladder, uterus, and rectum and help control bowel movements and urine flow.
Strong pelvic floor muscles are important for overall health as they provide support for our internal organs and help maintain continence. They also play an important role in sexual function by contributing to orgasm and helping with vaginal lubrication.
However, pregnancy and childbirth can weaken these muscles leading to various health issues. This is where pelvic floor physiotherapy comes into play- it helps strengthen these muscles which improves overall health post-natal.
Why is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Necessary After Giving Birth?
During pregnancy and childbirth, these muscles undergo significant strain which can lead to weakness or damage. The weight of the growing baby, hormonal changes, prolonged pushing during delivery or use of forceps/vacuum can all contribute towards this.
Weakness or damage to the pelvic floor can lead to various issues such as incontinence (leakage of urine when coughing/sneezing/laughing), prolapse (a feeling of pressure/heaviness in the vagina), painful sex etc.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy helps strengthen these weakened muscles which improve continence, reduces pain during sex etc. It is an essential part of post-natal care for women who want to regain their pre-pregnancy health.
Weakness or damage to the pelvic floor can lead to various issues such as:
Incontinence refers to leakage of urine when coughing/sneezing/laughing etc. This is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles which are unable to hold urine properly. Pelvic floor physiotherapy helps strengthen these muscles which improve continence.
Prolapse refers to a feeling of pressure/heaviness in the vagina due to weakened pelvic floor muscles which are unable to support internal organs properly. Pelvic floor physiotherapy helps strengthen these weakened muscles which reduce prolapse symptoms.
Weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause discomfort/pain during intercourse due to a lack of proper support around the vaginal opening. Pelvic floor physiotherapy helps strengthen these weakened muscles which reduce pain during intercourse.
Other conditions that can be treated with pelvic floor physiotherapy include constipation (due to weak external anal sphincter), urgency/frequency (due to weak bladder muscle) etc.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an essential part of post-natal care for women who want to regain their pre-pregnancy health.
What Happens During a Typical Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Session?
During your first session, your physiotherapist will conduct an assessment of your pelvic floor muscles by asking you about your symptoms and medical history. They may also perform an internal exam (with your consent) to assess the strength and tone of your pelvic floor muscles.
Based on this assessment, they will then develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs. This plan may include exercises to strengthen weak muscles or techniques to relax tight muscles.
Subsequent sessions will involve hands-on work with the physiotherapist as they guide you through exercises aimed at improving muscle function. These exercises may include:
Kegels are exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by contracting them in a specific way. Your physiotherapist will guide you through these exercises and ensure that you are performing them correctly.
Biofeedback involves using sensors placed on the body to monitor muscle activity during exercise. This can help you better understand how to properly engage and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
Massage therapy may be used to help release tension in tight muscles which can contribute towards painful intercourse/constipation etc.
Electrical stimulation is sometimes used as part of treatment where electrodes are placed on the skin near the affected area that produces gentle electrical impulses which cause contractions in the targeted region.
Your physiotherapist may also provide education on proper posture/breathing techniques that can help reduce pressure on the pelvic floor muscles.
The NHS discusses how your body changes after childbirth.
The Today Show discusses the 5 best pelvic floor exercises after giving birth.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy for Post-Natal Health at Bergin Motion
Here at Bergin Motion we know that having a baby is one of the most joyous moments in anyone’s life. However, pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on a woman’s body. We prefer to see women prior to giving birth and once they have delivered the baby. This creates the ideal way for a woman to avoid the usual complications that come with childbirth. Give us a call or go online if you are pregnant or have just given birth. Your body will thank you.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an important aspect of post-natal care that can help women address issues related to their pelvic floor muscles. Weakness or damage to these muscles can cause a range of problems, including incontinence, prolapse, and pain during sex.
Through personalized treatment plans developed by specialized physiotherapists, women can improve the strength and function of their pelvic floor muscles using various techniques such as kegel exercises, biofeedback, massage therapy, and electrical stimulation.
It is recommended that all women who have given birth consider pelvic floor physiotherapy as part of their post-natal care plan. By doing so, they can improve their quality of life by reducing symptoms associated with weakened/damaged pelvic floor muscles.
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to your pelvic floor muscles after childbirth, it is important to seek out specialized treatment through pelvic floor physiotherapy. With the right care and guidance from a qualified professional, you can restore your health and regain control over your body.
About Bergin Motion
Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.
The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.
Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.
Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.