Postnatal Care for women
If you’re a guy reading this, don’t hit delete just yet. Forward it onto any women you know that’s had a baby no matter how old. You will be thanked, trust me.
Vagina. There I said it. Now that I have your attention let’s talk about life after giving birth. Things, as you know it down there, maybe a little different since giving birth. Whether you have just had a baby or your babies are 20 years old or more you may need to see a women’s health physiotherapist.
Do you find that jumping, or skipping leaves you a little flustered due to lack of control in the bladder area? Or perhaps sneezing or coughing leaves you feeling a little hot under the collar?
If you answered yes then it’s time to seek help.
This is my story
A Pilates instructor of 17yrs at the time. Two beautiful daughters, one 14yrs and one 4yrs old. Not a problem at all with my first daughter, everything returned to normal fairly quickly. Second daughter, not quite.
When my second daughter was about 1yr old I took up skipping again for my cardio fitness. I noticed that even if my bladder was completely empty I had some leakage. Now, this was very embarrassing for me as a Pilates instructor. I love to talk about the pelvic floor and teach correct recruitment to all my clients, males included. So what was going on??
After confessing my problem to my husband and stressing over it for far too long I rang my lovely friend and women’s health Physio Liz Joyce and explained my situation. She assured me it was probably nothing too major and I booked in to see her as soon as I could.
While my regular Pilates practice kept me strong and supple throughout my pregnancy and prepared me for all the holding, rocking and lifting you do once they are born, I needed help internally on a deeper level. So off I went.
She started out with very gentle visceral work and then said:” we need to do some internal work” Which I thought would happen. A little embarrassing but I trust and respect her as professional and a friend so I took a deep breath and relaxed. The work she did was very gentle and subtle and only lasted about a minute. I felt my diaphragm drop down and then came tears of relief (quite unexpected) It turns out my uterus was slightly out of alignment which placed some pressure on my bladder causing me to leak when I jumped, ran or coughed. With her magic, she encouraged it back to its rightful place and as a result, that’s when my diaphragm dropped to where it should be creating an enormous amount of relief through my entire nervous system, hence the tears. I returned to skipping the next day and voila’ problem solved.
When you think about it why shouldn’t every single woman see a women’s health Physio after giving birth regardless of whether or not you have an incontinence issue or abdominal separation? Your body has just done the most breathtaking and incredible thing and gone through enormous changes to produce a beautiful baby. The internal organs and muscles are definitely not aligned as they once were.
It’s been my mission to tell this story to the world for a while. I talk about it to my female clients and friends whenever appropriate so that they too, don’t hide away thinking “it’s just the way it is” after childbirth or are too embarrassed to do anything about it. It’s not OK to put up with it and there is help.
So I ask you to send this onto your friends and family no matter how old to spread the word that something can be done to fix it.
I only needed one session with Liz. It is, of course, a case by case situation and you may need more. Don’t be put off by that, go with it and allow your body to change and heal in its own time.
If you are in Sydney email me for Liz’s details. If not then speak to your doctor or ask your existing practitioner for a referral to a women’s health physiotherapist.
Honour yourself and get checked out.