4 Ways Pelvic Floor Therapy Helps You Recover Postpartum and Beyond
Pregnancy and childbirth are transformative experiences, and that transformation includes your body. Having a baby triggers all kinds of changes that may or may not revert back after delivery. In particular, your pelvic floor can experience significant trauma during this time. But the great news is that pelvic floor therapy helps you recover postpartum and beyond.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we support your body’s form and function at every stage of life. From prenatal to postpartum and on, our Portland, OR, staff helps you feel your best. Whether you need bodywork, classes, or both, we have you covered. You can use our online portal to schedule your appointment or sign up for a class today.
Understanding the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is a powerful group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. These parts work together like a hammock to support the pelvic organs, and they are vital to bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual function.
Understandably, pregnancy, labor, and delivery put tremendous pressure and strain on the pelvic floor. The muscles stretch considerably to allow the baby to pass through the vaginal canal. And delivery by Cesarean section also impacts pelvic floor health.
Postpartum, many women experience pelvic floor dysfunction, such as weakened muscles, incontinence, and pain. Pelvic floor therapy is an effective way to promote full recovery postpartum and beyond so that you can fully enjoy life without discomfort.
Clarifying Postpartum Expectations
Traditional medicine typically calls the first six weeks after having a baby the “acute postpartum period.” As if, somehow, six weeks after this life-changing, body-altering event, everything goes back to how it was.
In reality, postpartum is the rest of your life after having a child. Since it means “after giving birth,” once you have a baby, you are always postpartum. How that looks for you at any given time may shift, but it’s certainly not simply a six-week window. And “bouncing back” isn’t the goal.
Rather, your postpartum period should be one of patience and kindness to your body and mind as you adjust, heal, and recover. These days, weeks, and months are the time to be attentive to your body’s needs without placing any expectations about what you “should be” doing or how your body “should be” looking.
We would argue this is true for anyone, at any time. But it’s especially true postpartum.
Pelvic Floor Therapy: Recover Postpartum and Beyond
Here are four ways that pelvic floor therapy allows your body to heal and recover postpartum.
1. Reduce or Eliminate Bladder Incontinence
How many moms do you know who instinctively cross their legs when they sneeze, cough, or laugh because they’re worried about leaking? This stress incontinence is extremely common postpartum, but it doesn’t need to last the rest of your life.
Kegel exercises can help when done correctly. But if your pelvic muscles are already overly tight, Kegels can sometimes make the problem worse. Professional pelvic floor therapy strengthens the muscles properly to help stop urine leakage.
2. Reduce or Eliminate Bowel Incontinence
While people aren’t generally surprised by the weak bladder side effect of pregnancy, the weak bowel is another thing altogether. Unfortunately, this topic seems to be more taboo to discuss, but it’s quite common and extremely impactful on a person’s quality of life.
Pelvic floor therapy can help alleviate these concerns:
- Urgency of bowel movements
- Stool leakage
- Inability to hold in gas when desired (Side note: holding in gas isn’t great for you, so try not to make it a habit.)
3. Reduce Pain During Intercourse
Although most people get the medical green light to resume sexual relations six weeks after a vaginal birth, that doesn’t mean you’re physically or emotionally ready to go there. It’s ok and normal to need more time.
When you do feel ready again, you may find that you have pelvic pain you didn’t have before. This discomfort can persist long after delivery if you don’t address it. Pelvic floor therapy is excellent at relieving pelvic pain so that you can enjoy sex comfortably.
4. Improve Your Mental Health
It’s no fun to spend your days in pain or feeling anxious about sneezing in public because you might pee your pants. These pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. Pelvic floor therapy helps you regain an excellent quality of life, boosting your overall wellness.
Your Pelvic Floor Experts at Jewell
Treating postpartum folks is one of our specialties at Jewell Chiropractic. It’s an honor to serve our Portland community through compassionate chiropractic care, massage, and pelvic floor therapy. And with a range of classes and groups, we work to help you feel seen, heard, and supported. Book your next appointment or sign up for a group or class today to get the care you deserve.