Following on from my previous blog, I wanted to answer some FAQs we’ve received at Future Physiotherapy about how a physiotherapist can help you after the birth of your baby.
What is the role of a women’s health physiotherapist?
A women’s health physiotherapist can help with issues related to:
- Postpartum care
- Managing your baby
These issues commonly include pain and instability in the lower back, hips, groin and hands, as well as pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence. Every person is different so receiving an assessment to find out why you have a problem is essential to proper recovery.
By choosing to see a physiotherapist from Future Physiotherapy you can be confident that you will receive expert care from a female physiotherapist who has significant experience in women’s health and rehabilitation.
How can physiotherapy help me after giving birth?
After having a baby, there are a variety of issues you may be suffering from. Physiotherapists can help by:
- providing a thorough assessment of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, and other muscular changes that have occurred as a result of pregnancy, labour and delivery such as joint instability and referred pain
- educating you about your problem and what treatment will be best to help you
- prescribing appropriate and safe exercises to regain normal muscle tone and strength, helping you to return safely to your sport or favourite exercise
- teaching appropriate pelvic floor exercises for good bladder and bowel function and coordination
- giving you breastfeeding support and treatment for any aches and pains caused by your posture while breastfeeding
- providing advice on back care and exercises to improve posture
- providing treatment and advice for wrist and thumb conditions such as carpal tunnel or de Quervain’s syndrome, both common during pregnancy and following childbirth
- improving your quality of life so that you can enjoy quality time with your new baby
Is there an added benefit to seeing a physiotherapist in my own home, rather than at a clinic?
Yes, there are many important reasons a home visit from a women’s health physiotherapist may be beneficial.
- By us coming to you, we save you precious time, and eliminate the stress of getting yourself and a baby out of the house
- You will feel more relaxed and comfortable in your own home
- The physiotherapist can observe you in your own home, making it easier to suggest more specific modifications to your activities to improve your condition
- The physiotherapist can also observe regular movements or activities you perform at home that are impacting your condition (such as changing, bathing or feeding your baby)
- You can use furniture and equipment you already own for your exercise program, rather than purchasing new equipment
- The physiotherapist can provide a more specific exercise program, making it more convenient for you to complete your exercises on a regular basis and make steady progress towards your goals
Why is it important for me to exercise after giving birth?
Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular fitness, increase energy levels and improve quality of sleep, increase muscle tone, decrease swelling, aid in constipation management and decrease musculoskeletal aches and pains. Exercise is also important for mental health, increasing serotonin levels, a hormone associated with happiness and wellbeing. These things are hugely important for new mums.
How do I know when to start exercising after giving birth?
Understandably, many women are worried about what is safe to do and when. The effect of the pregnancy and birth on the structures that support the pelvic organs including the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, will determine how soon you can get back to activities. In the first month after having your baby, your body is recovering and working out how to be strong just for normal daily tasks such as getting up from a chair, picking up the baby, having a shower and feeding your baby. Usually by 6 weeks you should be feeling stronger, but be aware that you still have a couple more months of recovery. Walking is a great exercise to start with but be sure to also rest, even 5-10 minutes lying on your side a few times during the day will be beneficial. Allow your body to gradually get stronger and hold off on high impact activities such as running and sport for at least 3-6 months. Getting some guidance from your physiotherapist is the perfect way to begin!
I hope you find this information useful, both NOW and in the FUTURE! Please email me if you have any questions, and remember to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more weekly tips and inspirations!