Top 10 benefits of seeing a women’s health physio postpartum

Top 10 benefits of seeing a women’s health physio postpartum

You see your GP and obstetrician at 6 weeks postnatal, so why do you need to see a women’s health physiotherapist? What do they do and why would that benefit me?

What is a women’s health physio?

A physiotherapist who has done additional training and specialisation in the women’s health field, which is not taught through the standard physiotherapy degree. They are a physiotherapist who is experienced in all aspects of women’s health from puberty to pregnancy and postpartum, and through to menopause. They are experienced in everything to do with pelvic health throughout a women’s lifetime which is definitely not something to ignore.

Pelvic health includes:

  • Pelvic floor muscles – learning how to squeeze and relax (can you squeeze? Did you know 80% of women don’t know how).
  • Bladder health – bladder leakage, recurrent urinary tract infections, bladder urgency (needing to wee really urgently), urine frequency (needing to go a lot!), bladder pain or anything else you notice just isn’t quite right.
  • Bowel health – constipation (this isn’t normal!), pain when you try to poo, feeling like you cannot get it all out, issues controlling wind and poo and anything else you notice and is worrying you.
  • Prolapse – pelvic organ prolapse can occur in all women and not just those who have had a baby, although having a baby is a contributing factor. You might feel a heaviness, dragging or pulling sensation in your vagina, and this is best to be assessed by your womens health physio.
  • Chronic pain – endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome can be managed so well with your women’s health physiotherapist. We can teach you about pelvic floor and how this play’s a huge role in the pain you experience and ways to help this.
  • Sexual pain – pain with sex isn’t normal – pre or post baby. If you experience pain with intercourse it’s not something you need to live with or put up with, we can help you.

Women’s health physio can help with SO many things that happen to a women throughout her lifetime, and during the postpartum period especially. Your GP and obstetrician at your 6 week assessment will most likely assess your c-section scar to ensure its healing well and they will have a discussion with you around contraception.

But what about the rest of your body?

What about when you cough and you leak?

They tell you to do some pelvic floor exercises – and your left thinking ‘how do I do that?’

What about getting back to exercise?

What about your back pain from feeding and holding your new baby?

This is how your women’s health physio fits into your treatment and rehab postnatally.

10 BENEFITS of seeing a physio:

  1. You actually learn how to squeeze your pelvic floor

You can get rid of that piece of paper they give you in the hospital that says to squeeze and you have no idea what your doing. It may be uncomfortable, you may feel embarrassed not knowing, but the greatest benefit is learning HOW to squeeze and relax correctly. This is vital for good pelvic floor function.

  1. We will look at your perineum and check healing of your scar, stitches and anything else

Sometimes your GP or obstetrician might not check your stitches or vagina in general. You wouldn’t go see a podiatrist for them not to look at your feet. Regardless of whether you have given birth vaginally or via c-section, you have grown a baby that changes things about your vagina and someone needs to assess its healing.

  1. We will assess your caesarean scar and teach you scar massage

There is multiple benefits of c-section scar massage postpartum. Sometimes touching your scar can make you feel a bit queezy and this is a normal reaction. We will teach you many techniques you can use to help ease yourself into self massage and we will also do a lot in the clinic to. The benefits of caesarean scar massage include desensitisation of the area and helping it get used to clothes and your underwear rubbing on it. Massage helps to break up increased scar tissue formation that can become very thick and dense and cause an indentation in the area. Additionally massage helps the scar become flexible and ensures it doesn’t pull or create pain when you move or have sex.

  1. Assessment of your abdominal separation

Ab separation is a completely normal process during pregnancy and our main focus postpartum is regaining your ab strength back again. Your physio will assess your abdominals and how they are functioning, and prescribe you the best exercises for you to regain strength.

  1. We help manage your back and neck pain

The postnatal period involves constantly holding bub (5kg+ weight), constant looking down, constant strange positions that your body is not used to. The result can be extreme low and mid back, shoulder blade, neck or any pain throughout your body. We are well experienced in this and can provide you with strategies to make your postnatal period much easier.

  1. We guide you back to exercise

The biggest question postpartum is when can I start exercise again? This is a very individual thing, all pregnancies, births, bodies, previous activity levels are different and there is no one size fits all approach. Therefore, the programs you buy online are not specific to YOU and your own body. We love exercise and will never tell you that you cannot go back. We will guide you with specific exercises and progress your weight, intensity, duration along the way so you can get back to doing whatever you like.

  1. We help you connect with other supports you may require

Breast feeding issues? Lets get you a lactation specialist. Postnatal depression or anxiety? Lets find you a psychologist specific to postnatal. Worried about returning to the gym? We can connect you with personal trainers (trained specifically to pregnancy and postpartum) to help guide this process. Want to get back to high impact training? We know local group fitness specialising in cross fit and high impact for mothers.

  1. Leaking and pelvic floor issues once returned to exercise

You now know help is available for leaking, and you know that it is not normal. You’ve noticed its begun to happen and that you can see your women’s health physio for treatment.

  1. Ongoing pain and discomfort

6 weeks and back to normal right? Unfortunately, not the case. Many women can experience pain and discomfort for years following birth. This may be pain in your perineal scar site or episiotomy, back pain from an epidural, pain c-section scar or bladder and bowel issues. Your postpartum journey doesn’t end at 6 weeks.

  1. Reassurance

Most importantly your women’s health physio will reassure you throughout a time where you may question everything. They will support, guide and empower you with knowledge to help your psychological and physical wellbeing.

Its never too late to see a women’s health physiotherapist postpartum. 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years, there is so many advantages and benefits for your health long term. Don’t hesitate, book online or contact us to make an appointment for yourself.