Whether you’re pregnant with your first baby or just had your 4th, you owe it to yourself to get physical therapy in the prenatal and postpartum period.
During the prenatal and postpartum phases of pregnancy, the body will undergo some major changes. It is extraordinary what us moms can do! And while some may pride themselves on being all organic during this time, having a natural birth, staying fit throughout, running a marathon, or just getting to the pregnancy finish line, the fact is that no matter what journey you took – your body went through some SERIOUS changes and there will be a recovery period. For some the recovery is pretty easy, for others it can be a long and painful process. Others may be recovering well in the immediate stage but will have issues later in life from unresolved dysfunction. Every. Body. Is. Different. And more importantly – every PREGNANCY is different! Just because the first time around looked one way, doesn't mean your second or third pregnancy will be the same.
Here is a list of just a few of the changes your body will go through during this time:
organs will reposition themselves (seriously, google image this - it's MIND BLOWING)
your center of gravity will shift continuously (making you feel clumsy)
muscles will be stretched out too many times their normal length (see ya later core)
ligaments may become more elastic (causing the arches in your feet to drop, carpal tunnel syndrome, pubic symphysis pain, LOVELY)
joints will be put under more stress (read: pain)
muscles may be cut through depending on how the delivery goes
A word about diastasis rectus. Having this dysfunction changes the mechanics of the way your abdominal muscles work which can lead to pain in the back, hips, pelvis, and legs. It is imperative that a woman with this issue know how to safely and effectively exercise in a way that will restore the core, not further weaken it. Now I know some mamas are reading this and thinking – I just had a baby! I don’t have time for this. Let me tell you something mama, you are absolutely right. You DO NOT have time to be suffering in pain, you DO NOT have time to be physically limited when you have a new baby to care for, and you DO NOT have time for your body to not recover appropriately in order to keep up with a growing and active child. Let's just repeat that one more time...
You DO NOT have time to be suffering in pain, you DO NOT have time to be physically limited when you have a new life to care for, and you DO NOT have time for your body to not recover appropriately in order to keep up with a growing and active child.
You can start gentle pelvic floor muscle activation and diaphragmatic breathing immediately postpartum. Physical therapy will help you locate and activate the right muscle groups safely and effectively. And for the mamas who know just how precious time is, ESPECIALLY in the “4th trimester” and beyond, ESPECIALLY when sleep deprived, ESPECIALLY when the thought of putting on pants exhausts you – at Potomac Physical Therapy and Rehab we come to YOU! We will never waste your time with hot or cold packs, waiting rooms, or treatment by anyone other than a licensed physical therapist. We've got your back, mama.