Ever wondered what’s involved in a Physical Therapy’s postpartum check-up? Postpartum is the post-pregnancy part of a woman’s journey through motherhood. A lot may think that once a woman gives birth, the journey has ended. On the contrary, it is just another stage in a woman’s transformation to being a mother.
Pregnancy is one of the milestones in a woman’s life. Every expecting mother is filled with anticipation and excitement for the coming of their offspring. While going through this life-changing experience is both joyous and scary, every single woman is expected to also take care of their physical and mental condition. Throughout the pregnancy, during the regular monthly checkups, the woman’s body goes through a transformation that doctors brief the expectant mother and prepare her body for the growing life within her. All of these, all the way to her day of giving birth, the obstetrician is the one guiding the woman in understanding the changes her body goes through.
After giving birth, most believe that the transformation is over. However, for a woman, this is only the beginning of the road to recovery and physical therapy is necessary to establish a proper foundation. A new mom should always make it a priority to schedule a postpartum check-up with her women’s health physical therapist to have a full-body evaluation of posture, alignment, abdominal wall, pelvic floor and their function. This should be a priority in taking care of their body, in the same way how vaccines are a priority in taking care of their newborn baby. So what is exactly involved in a physical therapy postpartum check-up?
Even before childbirth, an expectant mom should schedule her postpartum check-ups, which should be immediately after having the obstetrician checkup (around 6 weeks postpartum). This is to ensure that when the baby arrives and he/she becomes the priority, mom is still taking care of herself. Especially when childbirth is problematic, certain physical conditions need to be addressed as soon as possible for a faster and complete recovery.
Overall medical checkup
An overall history taking is done to understand the current condition of the woman’s body. From the pregnancy, delivery, childbirth, and up to the time of consultation, every single physical condition is assessed. This includes pelvic floor , childbirth, and sexual function history, and if not a first-time mom, issues encountered with previous childbirths.
Assessment of the current condition
Once the history of childbearing has been discussed and evaluated, physical therapy checkup moves on to the assessment of the current symptoms of the patient. A patient’s posture, pelvic alignment, muscle strength, and full mobility of the body is assessed. Muscle control, coordination, and functional movement are also tested.
Issues like urine leakage, diastasis recti, or painful sex are explored and once determined, addressed.
Abdominal section evaluation
If a cesarean surgery was performed, the patient will have a thorough evaluation of the scar and she will begin a scar mobilization protocol.
The core muscles’ strength and activation are tested to check for the abdominal separation or diastasis recti,breathing patterns, and any pain or discomfort related to posture and alignment is checked. A few position checks and exercises may be advised and properly administered by a registered women’s health physical therapist. All of these are required to ensure that the patient has a proper and safe recovery and return to an active lifestyle.
Once that initial evaluation is completed, depending on the findings, the doctor of physical therapy will make recommendations for treatment. When guidance or treatment is needed, physical therapy is required. The physical therapist will prescribe exercises that are formulated to correct postpartum conditions. These exercises may be one of the following:
- Breathing retraining exercises
- Diastasis recti correction exercises
- Postural correction exercises
- Pelvic floor neuromuscular re-education exercises
- It may also include guidance to begin gradual strength training and cardiovascular programs.
Scheduling a physical therapy postpartum check-up is highly recommended but not always emphasized enough in the United States. The same way how everyone after having an orthopedic surgery is supposed to have physical therapy rehabilitation done immediately, why that would not be applicable when having a C- section or traumatic labor with tearing. Some countries like France make it a priority to help mothers recover so they can help their children grow. Proper guidance and supervision is necessary and preferred to recover and recuperate from the life-changing event in a woman’s life.
Don’t miss out on our Postpartum Recovery Virtual PT Sessions :
- Get a complimentary 30-minute evaluation
- 3-6 high-level physical therapy sessions incorporating clinical Pilates and pelvic floor exercises for a stronger core.
Tribeca Physical Therapy is officially reopened for in-person physical therapy sessions and continues to offer Telehealth PT or Virtual PT. Call us at 2124068080 or message us and book your first session free.