Why you might need Pelvic Floor Therapy
Before the birth of my first baby, like so many other mom's I read tons of baby books, making sure I was adequately taking care of my bundle of joy and wanting to know everything that was happening that week and what was to come. Hell, I had The Bump, What to Expect, Babylist, and my Ovia Pregnancy App messaging me every week with updates regarding my baby's growth. Ok, so I went a bit overboard, but I wanted to know and be ready for everything. During all my research, I came across an article about Pelvic Floor Therapy. I made a note in the back of my mind but figured I would save it as a reference for my doula clients and hoping I wouldn't need it.
After 60 hours of labor from my water breaking to delivery and being able to push my baby girl into this world, I incurred a uterine infection and a perineal tear that took longer than expected to heal (over 12 weeks). Because of the scar tissue, intercourse became painful. And all the pushing action made my bladder distended, which caused some incontinence. Once I decided to seek help, my only choices were to seek a pelvic floor therapist or inject a cream vaginally to heal my scar tissue. After reading the side effects from the cream, which 'may or may not affect the quality of my milk and decrease my milk supply, I opted for therapy instead.
What is pelvic floor therapy?
"Pelvic floor physical therapy involves the pelvic floor muscle group, which is responsible for various functions. These muscles support the pelvic organs, assist in bowel and bladder control, and contribute to sexual arousal and orgasm. A person may be referred to pelvic floor physical therapy to treat incontinence, erectile dysfunction, difficulty with urination or bowel movements, constipation, chronic pelvic pain, and painful intercourse."(ISSM)
Pelvic Floor Therapy has been the best thing so far as part of my post-partum healing. Sure it was a bit awkward at first, but my therapists were professional and made me feel comfortable with some small talk to pass the time during treatment. During therapy, we worked on my posture when standing and bending to ensure I wasn't hurting my back when lifting my baby girl out of her crib. They also helped me with kegel exercises to strengthen the vaginal walls, which aids in bladder control. My therapists also provided guidance and tools needed to help loosen my scar tissue. Towards the end of therapy, we also worked on helping to strengthen my diastasis recti muscles. Being a mom is hard enough; there's no reason you should feel like your perineum is tearing apart each time you bend over to strap your baby in the car seat or curl up from back pain from changing diapers. Not to mention the suffering from having weak diastasis recti due to the expansion of your stomach previously with your sweet baby. Long gone are the days where incontinence, vaginal scar tissue, and back pain from weak core muscles after birth are the 'norm.' Thanks to pelvic floor therapy, these dysfunctions are a sure fix and a guarantee for getting back in the sack with your partner much sooner. Find a Pelvic Floor Therapist near you.
Howard County MD (My Faves)
Howard, Montgomery & Prince George's County
ISSM. (n.d.). Sexual Health Q&A. Retrieved February 25, 2020, from International Society for Sexual Medicine: https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-pelvic-floor-physical-therapy/.