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March 24, 2019

The Early Postpartum Period

6-8 weeks is considered the early postpartum period. Remember though, it took 9 months for your body to change and can take at least that long to recover (I consider the postpartum period to be one year). Be kind to yourself while your body heals.

In some European countries, pelvic floor physiotherapy is part of regular post-partum care. It is not only for urinary leakage, but includes treatment for so many other things including painful intercourse. Education postpartum can be invaluable, learning to lift your baby while effectivly using your pelvic floor and appropriate toileting habits after you give birth. I often recommend 1-2 sessions prenatally to at the very least, gain some tools that can assist recovery postpartum.

After childbirth, common concerns often include urinary incontinence, painful intercourse and feeling overall core weakness. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is another common concern after childbirth and I often hear from patients that they were unaware that this was something that can happen. With POP, there is necessity to learn to lift safely and look at toileting habits (stop straining with bladder and bowel voiding!). Though pelvic floor strengthening may be a necessary component of a treatment plan many women do not do kegels correctly and may not require them for their specific concern. Through treatment, you are not only going to learn kegels, but be educated on your unique needs and create a connection with your pelvic floor.

Before resuming any high intensity training (running, crossfit, bootcamps etc), make an appointment with your local pelvic floor physiotherapist to assess your bodies readiness and be educated on safe and healthy return to activity. There are safe strategies to return to exercise after childbirth, after taking anytime off your regular routine, your body will need time to re-adapt.

The good news is our muscles have a great memory but that doesn’t mean jumping straight into your old exercise habits immediately! Start slowly, listen to your body and book an assessment with your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist to ensure it is safe to return to the activities that you love.

Here in Ontario you do not need a referral from a doctor for physiotherapy treatment (however some insurance companies will require it).