Urinary incontinence. Pelvic prolapse. Sexual dysfunction. These are all common symptoms that women experience after giving birth. But are we destined to a life time of peeing our pants when we sneeze or laugh? Is there something a new mom can do to avoid a future in Depends?
How Pelvic Damage Happens
During pregnancy, our pelvic floors are faced with a barrage of damaging factors, including hormonal changes, pressure from the weight of a growing baby, damage caused by vaginal delivery or the use of forceps....the list goes on and on! It has even been estimated that up to 21% of women struggle with incontinence issues after a normal vaginal delivery with no forceps or vacuum extraction used.
What You Can Do
At your six week postpartum visit, your care provider will assess your abdomen for separation of the abdominal muscles, this is called diastasis recti. Your care provider will also ask you a number of questions about any urinary or fecal incontinence, vaginal pain. These are important questions to asses how well your pelvic floor has recovered from birth and pregnancy. If you are experiencing any of these issues, your care provider can send you to Pelvic Physical Therapy, where you will learn how to "wake up" your pelvic muscles and exercise them to close your diastasis recti, improve your bladder control, and even increase your sexual enjoyment.
Where to Seek Treatment
Here in Northwest Arkansas, we are so very fortunate that there is a readily available option for women experiencing postpartum pelvic issues! Washington Regional Pelvic Physical Therapy has skilled and caring Physical Therapists who specialize in pelvic issues. Your therapist can help with all the problems caused by postpartum weakness after assessing your personal issues and creating a treatment plan. Your pelvic health is important, you deserve a life with dry panties.