PTC Blog

Let’s get real mommas…The journey to becoming a parent does not end with labor and delivery. There are not only a lot of physical changes that your body goes through, but you are also learning what a whole new normal is for your life and new bundle of joy. As exciting as this journey can be, it can also be a rollercoaster of change. The physical changes our bodies experience after having a child also come with emotional changes, social changes, and relationship changes. Many times your friends, family members and even physicians will prepare you for the changes you will go through when it comes to taking care of your new baby, breast feeding and sleep deprivation, but rarely are you prepared for what to expect from your body after you have a baby.  This time period is referred to as “postpartum”. If you are talked to about your new postpartum body, the conversation usually leaves you feeling like you should expect these things to be your new normal.

What if I told you that the separation in your abdomen does not have to be your new normal?

What if I told you that the accidental peeing in your pants does not have to be your new normal?

What if I told you that the low back pain or tailbone pain you feel does not have to be your new normal?

What if I told you that you don’t have to manage all these things on your own?

A Physical Therapist is the golden ticket to your postpartum journey. A physical therapist can help you with the physical changes you experience after having a baby and get you on a great path to feeling better.

You may consider seeing a Physical Therapist after having a baby if you experience:

  • Pain in your low back, tail bone, pelvic floor and/or SI joint
  • Separation of your abdominal muscle also known as Diastasis Recti
  • Accidental leakage when exercising, jumping, coughing, or sneezing also known as Stress Incontinence
  • Shoulder or neck pain that comes from holding your child and treat feeding

Remember although many of these symptoms are common after having a baby, that does not mean they are normal, but the good news is you can get relief with the care you receive from your Physical Therapist. Be sure to start your postpartum journey on the right path by contacting your Physical Therapist. Schedule a free phone call consultation, or call 1-888-THERAPY to schedule your postpartum appointment today.

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

December 5th, 2018

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If you are pregnant or postpartum and your stomach seems to be protruding more than normal, you may have a condition called diastasis recti. I know, it’s a mouthful! This condition affects approximately 30% of women in which the abdominal muscles widen causing the stomach to create a bulge. It’s very important to identify the condition so that you do not engage in any activities or exercises that may worsen the separation. There are a lot of questions women have when they have this condition. What exercises should I do to help? Is this something that happens to everyone and can you prevent it from occurring?

When Does Diastasis Recti Happen?
This is a condition that mostly only happens during pregnancy. It’s usually in either the second or third trimester and doesn’t happen to everyone. It happens when the muscles within the abdomen separate so the connective tissue stretches either side causing a bulge in the lower abdomen.

Are There Movements That You Need to Avoid??
Do not strain your stomach muscles by lifting heavy objects or when constipated.
Do NOT do exercises that utilize your upper abdominals such as sit ups, crunches, push ups or planks.

Don’t Panic!

One things is important is that you avoid panicking about the condition. Your doctor will keep an eye on your stomach muscles and will determine when more excessive treatment such as Physical Therapy is needed. Our pelvic floor specialists at our St. Francis location will create an individualized exercise program based on your needs to decrease risk of increased abdominal separation. They will guide you through exercises that are safe for the condition and will aim to strengthen your lower abdominal muscles. The Physical Therapy will educate you in proper technique with specific functional tasks, such as rolling, transferring, lifting and other tasks that require effort to decrease your risk of separation worsening.

Top Exercise for Diastasis Recti
The transversus abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and wraps around the abdomen between the lower ribs and top of the pelvis, functioning like a corset. We need to train this muscle before we strengthen it. The first step is to learn to isolate the muscle.

Lying on your back, bend both knees up, draw your belly button in and think about connecting or drawing the muscle, as if closing two book covers. You should feel the tension under your fingers when palpating your lower abdomen. Hold contraction for 5 sec while breathing normally. Repeat 10 times.

Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
St. Francis Physical Therapy

August 8th, 2018

Posted In: General

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