Pregnancy and new motherhood should be times of joy and promise – not pain. Fortunately, times have changed since your mother was pregnant: you don’t have to live with pain or other problems related to pregnancy, delivery or recovery after the birth of your child.
That’s because physical therapy has changed. Treatment is no longer just for joint problems; it’s also a safe, proven, and widely prescribed treatment for pregnant women and new mothers. It promotes a far healthier, less stressful, more comfortable pregnancy that pays lasting dividends: an easier labor, a speedier recovery, and less likelihood of postpartum pain or incontinence (urine leakage).
There are a variety of pains that can arise during your pregnancy. Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint that can easily and safely be treated by physical therapists that specialize in the care of pregnant women. It is well documented that the pelvic ligaments and joints have more laxity because of increased hormone secretion with pregnancy. I have seen at least a 50-70% decrease in pain within 3-5 physical therapy visits for sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJ). SIJ is a condition that is commonly mistaken for Low back pain (LBP).
A postpartum rehabilitation program can be effective for those that have developed:
- Pain with intercourse because of a difficult delivery, episiotomy or tear
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Lingering low back/hip/groin pain, especially with carrying, lifting, holding your baby or with simple household chores
- Weak stomach muscles, diastasis recti or w hen traditional situps or strength training don’t feel as effective as they used to
- Painful c-section scar
- Feeling of pelvic heaviness or your insides are going to fall out
- Abnormal feelings or sensations of the vulvar area
- On and off pains they do not seem to go away after 6-8 weeks
- Pubic symphysis pain / osteitis pubis