Physiotherapy in the Postpartum Period

Following your birth, whether it be a vaginal birth or a caesarean section, life can be very different! Difficulties following your birth can be related to your pelvic floor, however may also be pain related to weakened core muscles and the demands of being a new mother.

Your Pelvic Floor Following your Birth

Your pelvic floor is particularly vulnerable following a vaginal birth, however a caesarean birth doesn’t necessarily make you immune to pelvic floor symptoms following pregnancy!

During a vaginal birth the pelvic floor muscles need to stretch by more than %400 to successfully deliver a baby. This usually results in weakened pelvic floor muscles and other support structures and may also result in vaginal tearing. Uncommonly, an anal sphincter tear may occur, where a vaginal tear has extended into the circular muscles around the anus.

Women who have had a caesarian section may also experience pelvic floor symptoms simply due to the weight of their pregnant uterus on their pelvic floor, or in cases where they have attempted a vaginal birth.

Just like physiotherapy can be helpful in recovery following a muscle or joint injury, pelvic floor physiotherapy can be helpful in your pelvic floor recovery following your birth. Your physiotherapist will take a history of any current symptoms and, with your consent, will assess your pelvic floor, usually by a vaginal examination.

Body Aches and Pains

The demands of looking after your baby can place a lot of strain on your body causing aches and pains. This may include:

  • Back pain
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Your physiotherapist will assess your symptoms and provide treatment and make recommendations to help.