Congrats! You did it – you finished your pregnancy journey and you made it through your birthing plan. You now have your new little bundle of joy with you that you get to love and enjoy. While your pregnancy journey may be complete, your body is still working hard to get back to equilibrium. That’s right – those same physiological prenatal factors that affected your body so much have now become postnatal factors. Once again, your center of gravity and posture have changed, your weight has fluctuated, your hormones have been altered, and you now have the added stress of caring for new life.
To add onto that pile, your prenatal back pain may have followed you postpartum. Many new mothers will experience postpartum back pain due to the intense strain that their back and abdominal muscles experience when contracting and pushing in the delivery room. If you had a C-section, you may be experiencing pain and discomfort from the invasive procedure. Even the act of picking up and holding your newborn baby throughout the day can cause back pain and achiness.
Fortunately, postnatal rehab can help ease some of your stress and discomfort, making your recovery much smoother. To find out more about our postnatal rehab services, call our office today!
What is postnatal rehab?
Postnatal rehab consists of physical therapy treatments to help you with your postpartum recovery. Back and pelvic pain are the most commonly reported forms of prenatal and postnatal discomfort. These can often subside after the baby is born, but for approximately one-third of women, they continue to persist postpartum.
Postnatal rehab focuses on many of the same treatment techniques that prenatal rehab does; however, with postnatal rehab your physical therapist will focus more on quickening your recovery process rather than preparing your body for its physical journey.
With postnatal rehab, your physical therapist will provide you with the proper resources needed for pain and muscle management, strength training, body mechanics, and flexibility/stretching. This will help your body ease pain and speed up its recovery process, in addition to gaining back any strength or flexibility that was lost during pregnancy, and making you more comfortable overall.
What to expect with postnatal rehab:
Your physical therapist will perform a similar evaluation to prenatal rehab, but might not be as extensive if you are continuing your pregnancy-related physical therapy treatments. He or she will again examine your gait, range of motion, posture, and overall mobility to determine the best course of treatment. Issues regarding childbirth will also be taken into account and will become priority focuses when creating your treatment plan.
As mentioned earlier, back and pelvic pain are typically the most common focuses for recovery during postnatal rehab, although core and abdominal muscles are also treated very closely. Pelvic floor rehabilitation may be necessary, as the muscles and connective tissues can stretch and become damaged during childbirth.
Manual therapy is typically the main focus of postnatal rehab, as its focus is to relieve pain and enhance healing. An exercise plan will also be created by your physical therapist to help get your body back to its normal pre-pregnancy function, using treatments such as neuromuscular re-education and specialized at-home remedies.
Schedule your consultation!
Your body went through a lot in the past nine months, and you’re finally in the home stretch. While the recovery may seem daunting now, we can help make it easier on you. After all, your main focus should be on the new life you created – not on pain or discomfort! Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists and they will provide you with everything you need for a comfortable and quick recovery – so you can care for your new little one without any added stress. We’ll help you finish out this journey strong and get you back to your pre-baby body!