When new moms and dads come home with baby the focus is all on their new bundle of joy. What many parents don’t realize is that the post-partum period is the perfect time to check in with their own bodies to heal properly and develop new habits to strengthen your body. After all the loads you carry will only get heavier and baby grows. Pick up your baby and all her stuff to strengthening your back. Learn how to brace and protect your pelvic floor to prevent incontinence and prolapse. Prevent scar tissue adhesions, pelvic pain, and return to sex with ease.
You may or may not have heard of Kegels, the pelvic floor muscle exercise made famous by gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel to reduce leaking, pelvic organ prolapse, and assist in pregnancy. Your pelvic floor muscles act during orgasm, hold in your pelvic organs, stabilize your pelvis and back, relax during toileting, sex, and childbirth, and keep you from leaking at all other times. There is some controversy over whether people should perform Kegels. Today, we will clear up some misconceptions!
Women who have just delivered a baby are worried about their child, their parenting skills, and how to take off “baby weight.” Often the soft belly that never quite looks the same again is NOT fat, it’s a split in the abdominal muscles. Medically known as diastisis recti, or for lay people “Mummy Tummy” requires specific care to heal properly. If you do hundreds of sit-ups to try to tighten the abs, the bulge will get worse, and it may not go away! I often treat women in the 50’s and 60’s who still have a diastasis recti.
With the expensive costs of incontinence pads, adult diapers, soiled clothing, and social stigma, a better question would be, Are you OK with leaking urine? If you suffer from urinary incontinence you are not alone. An estimated 25-51% of all women have leaked once in the last year, and 17-32% of women are leaking regularly with percentages increasing with age. Even though many women suffer from a weak bladder, you don’t need to live with it!
Recently extreme intensity workouts like Cross-Fit are glorifying leaking. While leaking is common in some circles, it is NEVER normal. For a doctor to accept leaking or merely suggest pads does their patient a disservice. Leaking urine is treatable with conservative measures. The sooner you accept that leaking is a problem, and act to heal your pelvis, the more effective the treatments can be. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get, and incontinence increases with age.
Last Thursday, Best of Health featured Mags Matthews, PT, speaking on pelvic health, physical therapy treatment and Mayan Abdominal Massage. Unfortunately if you missed the show, there are no podcasts or rebroadcasts scheduled. However we will highlight some of the discussion in this blogpost!
Host Arly Helm, MS, IBCLC (Certified Lactation Consultant) and Mags discussed the many ailments that women or men may suffer from while not knowing that conservative treatments may offer hope and relief. Mags specializes in pelvic physical therapy, treating diagnoses diverse as prenatal and post-partum discomfort, prostatitis, incontinence, constipation, urgency/frequency, prolapse, and pelvic pain. She also treats the wellness end of health for injury prevention, fertility support, and fitness.
We found a great article written by our collegues at Pelvicguru.com and Proaxis Physical Therapy blog discussing misnomers about Pelvic Physical Therapy. The therapists over at Proaxis write frequently in their blog with very useful information for everyone, since we all have a pelvis, and know people with pelvises.