Pelvic Therapy & Postpartum Return to Exercise
Any woman who has carried a child knows that the abdominal muscles undergo tremendous stretching and strain during pregnancy. However, most women do not realize that a condition called “diastasis recti” – where the abdominal muscles actually separate – is a very common side effect of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, most women think that simply engaging in more frequent and more vigorous exercise will remedy their “baby belly” and help them get their pre-pregnancy body back. But engaging in the wrong type of exercise – such as sit ups – can actually worsen the abdominal muscle separation for some women.
How to Return to Exercise after Childbirth
The good news is that the right kind of exercise can help “close the gap” between the separated abdominal muscles! A skilled physical therapist who is certified in women’s health – like Wood County, OH’s own Karen Liberi – can prescribe the proper exercises to help restore abdominal muscles to their pre-baby tone and strength.
Gentle core-strengthening exercises are typically an excellent starting point, especially if begun immediately postpartum. This can gradually build to more vigorous abdominal exercises in as little as six or more weeks after delivery.
Strengthening the core slowly, consistently, and deliberately gives the woman’s body a strong, stable base from which to work and get moving again. Starting a therapist prescribed post-pregnancy regimen also helps alleviate pain that can develop later on.
Proper exercise after pregnancy will also help the woman’s body adjust to new demanding physical tasks like carrying the baby, getting the infant in and out of the car, and the constant lifting and reaching (endless laundry!) that goes with new motherhood.
Postpartum Pelvic Therapy – Every BODY is Different
Pelvic Health Specialist and Physical Therapist Karen Liberi teaches postpartum exercise from the philosophy that every BODY is different. Everyone’s birth story is different, and everyone’s level of fitness prior to and during pregnancy is different – so it is important to approach a woman’s return to exercise on an individualized basis.
For example, any pain could be an indication that an exercise is being done too soon, incorrectly, or too vigorously. Women who have had a caesarian section, in particular, should be especially watchful of any pain or discomfort during postpartum abdominal exercise.
The Right Pelvic Therapy-Based Postpartum Exercise for YOU
At NWO Pelvic Rehab in Wood County, OH we carefully assess each patient’s c-section or episiotomy scar tissue mobility. We also assess for diastasis recti – and we assess for pelvic floor muscle activation, relaxation and coordination with movement. Additionally we also assess functional mobility of the patient’s lumbar spine, hips, sacrum and coccyx as well.
The ultimate goal of each therapy based postpartum exercise program is for a return to the degree of function that is specifically what each patient wants to return to. This means that one woman may desire to return to running or yoga, while another woman wants to restore a perfect “beach body,” and someone else may simply have a goal of pushing a stroller in the park.
Our team of Wood County, OH physical therapists and pelvic therapy specialists can provide guidance and resources to help each individual patient be successful in achieving their unique, individual goals. We also team with local fitness instructors who are familiar with postpartum needs – to allow for continued return to exercise, once a woman has completed her pelvic therapy rehab phase in Physical Therapy.
And for those moms who are fatigued, we also team up with functional nutritionists to help optimize their post-partum energy levels!
Wood County, OH Pelvic Therapy Specialists
If you are pregnant, are considering pregnancy, or have recently delivered a child, now is the time to schedule a pelvic therapy consultation – to ensure you and your body recover successfully from the stress, strain and stretching of pregnancy and delivery!
Expert physical therapist Karen Liberi MS MPT WCS, has advanced board certification in pelvic floor physical therapy. She has helped hundreds of women in Perrysburg, Toledo, and across Wood County, OH get their body and their life back on track after pregnancy, with pelvic therapy.
Through a comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment program the best postpartum quality of life can be achieved, so you can enjoy your body and your new baby in good health.
Schedule a Wood County Postpartum Pelvic Therapy Evaluation: 419-893-7134 (ext. 5)