Postpartum is the period after having a baby where your body continues to change and adapt. It is not a specific number of days or months, rather it is the continual process of your changing body throughout motherhood. Pregnancy and delivery create significant hormonal and physical changes that can take months to years to return to “normal,” and even then – most can agree, the body never goes back to pre-pregnancy “normal.” The best part about this is that this is okay! Our bodies are strong and adaptable from carrying a baby, birth, and recovery post-birth. It is important that we continue to care for our bodies that have carried us through so much. At i’move we believe that every woman should have access to physical therapy at any stage postpartum (ideally starting very early postpartum) in order to help you navigate this new “normal.” We want to walk with you along your journey of recovery and to help you reach your goals.
How can physical therapy help?
As specialists in functional movement, we assess each individual at all stages in their postpartum journey in order to improve their current issues and function. We provide individual assessment and treatment of issues related to restoring mobility and strength postpartum as well as address other issues, as mentioned previously, that may be affecting your quality of life or everyday activities. When you’re a new mom or a mom of multiples, self care is hard! But as the saying goes, “you have to take care of yourself before you can efficiently care for others.”
At i’move we offer:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is back pain or pelvic pain normal postpartum – even if I did or did not have it during pregnancy?
Yes, your body just went through drastic changes in nine months and now you’re trying to navigate a new “normal” with a baby and all the other demands of life. BUT it doesn’t mean there isn’t something you can do to help improve it. There are a lot of physiological changes and healing that is and will continue to happen for months, even years postpartum , so ideally seek help early along your journey. It is never too late to ask for help postpartum!
Is peeing my pants normal with activity?
Yes, this symptom can be common but it does not have to be your new “normal” postpartum! Reasons why incontinence occurs postpartum can still be hormone related but a majority of the time it has to do with daily habits that have formed as well as a need to restore mobility and stability within the body. Physical therapy can help identify the reason “why” and address all of these possible issues in order to improve everyday function.
When can I start returning to exercise post pregnancy?
You need to officially wait until your 6 or 8 week postpartum check-up with your OB for clearance to return to a regular “exercise” routine but this does not mean that you cannot move for six to eight weeks! There are a lot of simple yet very effective exercises and movements that you can be working on as your body is healing post pregnancy. Contact one of our women’s health therapists today for a one-on-one assessment and individualized plan for your postpartum journey.
My doctor told me I have diastasis recti (DR), how can I help this/will this ever go away?
As previously mentioned on our pregnancy page, diastasis recti is a very normal issue during pregnancy and also postpartum. Each individual and each pregnancy may present differently in the postpartum stage but at i’move, our therapists address more than just the size of the DR you have. We individually look at how your body moves in relation to your everyday life activities so that we can help minimize the DR while simultaneously maximizing your potential for movement. Research shows that DR is not necessarily a predictive or associated factor with other postpartum issues such as incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse but DR is an important issue to assess and address in your postpartum journey.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit will be a 40 minute evaluation with a trained women’s health physical therapist. We will begin by getting to know you, listening to your goals, your medical history, and any specific challenges that you are facing. We will then move onto the physical examination, including assessment of body movement, functional mechanics, posture, strength, fascial and muscle balance. From this information we will determine if an internal pelvic floor exam is indicated. If it is, we will discuss this and set one up for our next meeting. We will recommend an individualized plan of care and discuss follow up visits, treatments, and home exercises.
What should I wear to my first physical therapy appointment?
Wear anything that you are comfortable in. Most women find that a pair of yoga pants or leggings are most comfortable or other movement friendly clothing.
Will I have a private space?
Yes, we have a private women’s health room that is a space for just us gals.
How often do I need to be seen?
We will discuss a plan of care based on your unique situation; however, most recommended plans of care will be 1-2x/week.
Will I need an internal pelvic exam?
On your first visit we will not be doing an internal pelvic exam. After we discuss and evaluate your unique situation, we will determine together if we need to proceed with an internal pelvic exam. There are many treatments that do not necessitate an internal examination. If we believe that this is an important part of your care, we will discuss this with you and only proceed with your full verbal consent.
What is an internal pelvic exam?
An internal pelvic floor assessment is beneficial to assess the ability of your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax and coordinate movements. Just like any other area of the body, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles that helps to provide our body with support and it assists with specific functions. An internal pelvic exam is way easier and more comfortable than a pap smear, as we are using a single gloved finger for our assessment. In most cases this is painless. We don’t use any cold stirrups or devices that you may have experienced at your OB’s office. If at any time you are uncomfortable with the assessment or treatment, we fully respect your decision to decline an internal assessment.
Will an internal exam hurt?
For most women, no, an internal assessment by a physical therapist should not hurt. You and your physical therapist will discuss the anatomy of the pelvic floor and the specific muscles that make up this area. You will feel some light pressure with our examination, and we are continually encouraging communication with your physical therapist to discuss treatment techniques and to ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable throughout your visit.