30-50% of women may experience physical symptoms after child birth. These abnormal changes after childbirth should be addressed and corrected.
Studies have shown that between 30-50% of women may experience symptoms relating to childbirth that result in ongoing health concerns.
It is therefore exceptionally important that women receive appropriate advice to help promote an optimal recovery and return to daily activity and exercise safely. For some women, it can be difficult for them to identify what is normal and what’s not during this postpartum period and to know when to seek help. Please refer to the blog “What to expect after expecting” for more information on normal changes.
What is NOT normal after 6-8 weeks’ post-partum?
- ongoing back, pelvis, groin or abdominal pain
- leaking of urine, wind or stool at any time but especially with laughing, coughing, jumping, sneezing, lifting, walking, or exerting additional effort
- frequent urination or feeling a strong urge to go to the toilet
- pressure, heaviness or any bulging in the vagina or rectum
- feeling that you are not completely able to empty your bladder or bowel
- bulging of your abdomen during any exercise
- painful scar tissue (e.g. from caesarean incisions or perineal tears)
- ongoing pain with sexual activity
- mastitis or blocked milk ducts
- difficulty doing any of your regular everyday tasks
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it would be advisable to see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
What happens during a physiotherapy consultation?
Your Women’s Health Physiotherapist will:
- ask several questions to determine the nature of the problem and to discuss your individual goals with treatment
- perform a thorough physical assessment of the musculoskeletal system relating to the issue as well as check for abdominal separation
- may include an internal examination to assess pelvic floor muscle weakness or underlying dysfunction
- discuss the outcome of the assessment and work together with you to develop an appropriate treatment program (including education, manual therapy and exercise) which is reasonable and specifically tailored to your needs
- will also work in conjunction with your primary treating medical practitioner (e.g. GP or Obstetrician) and any other appropriate allied health professionals
With early recognition and treatment of problematic post-partum symptoms, women can improve their recovery period greatly, spend more time enjoying this special time in their lives, and actively take control of their future health.