When should you see a women’s health physio after having a baby?
All women should see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist after having a baby. The female body goes through many changes both during and after pregnancy and a Women’s Health Physio can help guide you through these changes to optimise your health and help you keep up with the demands of looking after a newborn.
A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can:
- Assess your pelvic floor to determine the integrity and strength of your pelvic floor muscles, and assess whether your pelvic organs (bladder, bowel and uterus) are all sitting where they should be
- Assess your abdominal separation and design a tailored rehab plan to help ‘close the gap’ and optimise your core
- Facilitate your return to exercise injury free
- Manage musculoskeletal complaints common to new mums including upper back and neck pain from nursing bub, lower back pain from carrying bub and hand/wrist pain from repeatedly picking up bub
So when is the best time to see a Women’s Health Physio for these issues?
Pelvic floor assessment
- Book in at 6 weeks post partum
- If you have specific concerns (e.g. leaking when you cough, or poor control of wind) then book in earlier and we can begin your management plan before we are able to do an internal exam at 6 weeks
- FUN FACT: It is estimated that having a full term baby sitting on your pelvic floor is equivalent to having a 100kg man standing on a trampoline – that’s a lot of stretch! Therefore, regardless of whether a baby is born by vaginal delivery or caesarean section, the pelvic floor can still be affected!
- Book in at 2-3 weeks postpartum. For this one, the earlier the better!
- We know that the best closure occurs in the first 12 weeks post partum, so it’s important to start your rehab journey early
- If you are reading this and are already past 12 weeks post partum, don’t worry! There are still plenty of functional gains that can be made through a tailored abdominal rehab program.
Return to exercise
- Book in for this appointment when you are beginning to consider returning to high impact (running, jumping) exercise or strength work
- Based on our assessment, we may require you to work on your pelvic floor, abdominal or general strength before clearing you to return to certain exercise. So ensure to give yourself lots of time to work towards returning to your favourite exercise
Musculoskeletal complaints common to new mums
- Whenever they pop up!
- Getting on top of these issues quickly can stop them becoming long term problems