If you have just had a baby, chances are good that you will be working with a physical therapist when it comes to postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is often worse than the woman had when she gave birth. This is because of the changes that are taking care of a new baby causes. The woman may have been able to avoid emotional stress and pain by planning ahead for the changes that pregnancy and childbirth cause.
The first few weeks postpartum are often the most challenging. You may experience feelings of nausea and vaginal discomfort. As your body adjusts to the new position of the mother’s abdomen, it may also be dealing with back pain. This is one reason why many women take time off of work after childbirth – to get better.
A great physical therapist will help you to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor exercises are important for postpartum relief, as they keep your pelvic muscles limber. The pelvic floor is a muscle group consisting of several muscles that work together to support the pubic bone and help maintain proper bladder and bowel function. It also helps prevent urinary incontinence. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can improve your posture, bladder control, and the strength of pelvic muscles to prevent sciatica and other back pain.
The second trimester of your pregnancy is the best time to practice the exercises that you will need to do to strengthen and stretch your pelvic floor muscles. The benefits of pelvic floor muscle strengthening include: reduced incontinence and a better quality of life after child birth. In addition, there are many postpartum support groups such as the Parent’s Tool Shed where you can get support from other mothers who have dealt with the same issues as you are now dealing with. Your pelvic floor muscles can be so strong that they even out, which gives your hips additional strength.
During the last trimester, you may find that your abdominal muscles are weak and tight. During the first trimester your abdominal muscles are very flexible. However, as your pregnancy advances your abdominal muscles become tighter. It is important that you speak with your physical therapist about how to strengthen these muscles. In some cases physical therapists may recommend an exercise ball or abdominal vacuum to help you exercise and tone your abdominal muscles.
The third trimester, weeks postpartum, is the best time to begin exercising with a regular routine. If you follow your prenatal physical therapist’s advice, exercising on a regular basis will help you keep the pelvic floor muscles limber and will also increase your range of motion. You can further increase your abdominal strength through crunches, sit ups, and more.
Finally, weeks postpartum your breasts may have some excess scar tissue. The scar tissue is there to support your breasts, but unfortunately some women have excess fat that pushes against the scars and creates additional back pain. Physical therapists will typically recommend exercises that will help you increase your chest muscles. Exercises such as push up, chest fly, chest press, and lateral raise, along with other aerobic exercises can tone the chest muscles.
Physical therapy during the Perinatal period can provide many benefits for women. Not only can it help you regain your pre-pregnancy shape, but it can also help you avoid back injuries. Postpartum weight loss can also benefit women’s overall health and well being. Your physical therapists can give you advice on how to manage your weight loss and assist you with meal replacement plans. Following a proper physical therapy plan can help you return to your pre-pregnancy form within a few weeks.