Having a baby is exciting, fascinating, and nerve wracking. If you have never been through the process before, chances are you have a lot of questions and concerns about what changes your body will go through during your pregnancy, what the birthing process entails, and how your recovery will go once you’ve had your baby.
Join us and childbirth specialist, Ashley Brichter, in our final Pelvic Health class of the year to discuss the ins and outs of having a child.
Being able to get pregnant is sometimes a little harder than society will have us believe. The female reproductive system is a complex and intricate part of our bodies and there are many factors that go into fertility. If having children is a goal of yours, do not miss our free reproductive health seminar on April 27th at 7pm with physical therapist, Melissa Stendahl. Melissa will be discussing how both nutrition and pelvic and abdominal tissue health can optimize your reproductive function and help with painful reproductive conditions like endometriosis and pain with intercourse.
Young mothers face a myriad of new challenges they did not encounter prior to mother-hood. They often experience hormone related changes, sleep deprivation, and possible nursing complications, should they decide to breast feed. This is all on top of trying to lose the baby weight and return to their pre-pregnancy size. In addition, new mothers face the challenge of adjusting to the new reality of having a child and being responsible for their child’s wellbeing. Therefore, it is no surprise that many mothers inadvertently neglect the musculoskeletal related aftermath of pregnancy and delivery. Some of these changes are very significant, and may manifest later on in life if left untreated.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Sarah Nassauer addressing post-partum pelvic floor dysfunction (October 14, 2013). According to Dr. Linda Brubaker, an urogynecologist and dean of the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, the pelvic floor “is the center of the universe” because it provides much structural support. In fact, she recommends that ALL WOMEN REQUEST PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE STRENGTH TESTING from their doctor 4-6 weeks postpartum to make sure the muscles are functioning properly. The article also discusses that nowadays, a popular trend is to have multiple babies in close proximity and at a more advanced age. This gives the body less time to recuperate compared to spaced out pregnancies. Furthermore, more women are using in vitro fertilization treatment which increases the likelihood of twin and triplet pregnancies. Pregnancies of this nature put more stress on the pelvic floor muscles than single pregnancies. Some of the physical changes women encounter include exaggeration of the spinal curves, overstretching of the abdominal muscles (which may even lead to separation of the two halves of rectus abdominus muscle, a condition referred to as diastasis recti), internal scar tissue (after caesarean section deliveries), and overstretched pelvic floor muscles and weakness (resulting in incontinence and/or prolapse, organ descent). Fortunately, pelvic floor physical therapy can help address all of the aforementioned changes. Kudos to The Wall Street Journal for acknowledging and publicizing the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy!