Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. Some throw up for a month (or nine), some have sciatica pain, and some have never felt better. Taking care of pregnant patients should be as individualized as the women themselves. That’s why at Battle Born Health, we take a very personalized approach to pregnancy and postpartum care.

Physical Therapy for Pregnant Patients

Prenatal Physical TherapyWhether you want to continue to workout safely throughout your pregnancy or are suffering with back pain, hip pain, or sciatica, our physical therapists are specially trained in caring for pregnant patients throughout their gestation.

Taking care of yourself in pregnancy means listening to your pain and not “pushing through”. Working with a trained physical therapist can help you get out of pain and learn exercises and techniques that build or maintain your strength so that you can be ready for birth and have an easier recovery in your fourth trimester.

Common but Not Normal Postpartum Conditions

Let’s talk about the critical fourth trimester, which is that three months postpartum. Most women are handed a baby and some very sexy hospital mesh underwear and told, “good luck!” That is NOT how it should be! Your body has just gone through the serious and often traumatic process of giving birth. You need help and support to heal, and you do not need to suck it up and go it alone, or suffer with things that are “common” but not “normal”.

There are many conditions women can suffer postpartum. And unfortunately, these have been normalized. But they are not normal, they are just common!

Back Pain

It is common for women to have back pain after giving birth because they are holding a baby, wearing a baby, schlepping that god-awful car seat, bent over breast feeding, sleeping on couches (or wherever, whenever they can), recovering their core strength, etc. There are a million reasons postpartum women have back pain, but you do not have to live with it. Postpartum physical therapy can help!

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti is when your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right stomach muscles has widened. Many women call it their “pooch.” Again, very common among postpartum women, and about two-thirds of pregnant women have it, according to WebMD. Since it is so common in pregnancy it is not something to fear. With a trained physical therapist, it can be improved or healed completely.

Diastasis recti has varying levels and degrees. When you work with a trained physical therapist, they will provide you with a customized plan for your particular condition. Some of the treatments may include retraining your breathing to get the diaphragm back on board and engaged with the pelvic floor. This also helps to fire the abdominal muscles to get them engaged. If the diaphragm does not fully function, then the abdominal muscles can’t either. It is all connected. And give yourself and your body some grace after pregnancy to heal these muscles. You just made a person! Healing and getting to your goals is a marathon, not a sprint.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is different from loss-of-bladder-control incontinence. Stress incontinence is when you pee when you laugh, jump, cough, sneeze, etc. and it can be treated. Again, it is common in postpartum women, but not normal. This condition usually has to do with an overstimulated pelvic floor where the muscles are super tight and don’t have any more capacity to tighten and hold the pee. This is known as “hypertonic”. A hypertonic pelvic floor will be too tight and the patient will have difficulty contracting the pelvic floor muscles. We work with our Mamas to relax those muscles with customized breathing exercises.

Postpartum Physical Therapy for Strength Recovery

Postnatal physical therapy, physical therapy for pelvic floorIt is easy to fall into the social media trap of the latest wall Pilates workout or programs claiming you’ll “get your body back!” Following these templated programs can be very dangerous for postpartum women. Without a proper evaluation of your birth experience, the conditions you are facing, and a discussion of your goals, you could end up hurting yourself, training the wrong muscles, and getting very frustrated.

Dr. Sarah Martinez, DPT works with new moms on how to safely get back into lifting weights and building their strength, and she is specially trained to work with postpartum women. She will create a custom care plan that includes how to safely get back into exercise. If there is pain, we can do manual work to help relieve that pain before beginning a strength training program.

The Mama 10-Pack

Customized Plans for Pregnancy and Postpartum

When you work with Battle Born Health during and after your pregnancy you will build strength and reduce pain. You will also have a physical therapist who can help heal your body after the process of making and birthing a tiny human. You are not alone, and you do not need to “learn to live with it” or make anything that is uncomfortable, your new normal. Make an appointment with Sarah today to learn about our Mama 10-Pack. This package gives you 10 one-on-one sessions with your physical therapist to work on whatever your body needs.