Extra, extra, read all about it…..guest blog post alert!!!!! The Maternal Sidekick is a firm believer that ALL WOMEN should see a pelvic floor physiotherapist as part of maintaining their overall health and quality of life.
Kate Jones from www.nestphysio.com, a Hamilton Ontario Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist providing in home care to women in Hamilton, speaking on when should you visit a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
When should you visit a pelvic floor physiotherapist
A few specific indicators that you may benefit from pelvic physiotherapy are:
- leaking urine, gas, or stool when you laugh, sneeze, cough or exercise
- needing to pee frequently, more than about 8 times each day
- pelvic pain or pain with sex or tampon use
- having sudden urges to pee that lead to leaking or barely making it to the bathroom
- diastasis recti (abdominal separation)
- pelvic organ prolapse or a sense of vaginal heaviness
Regardless of whether you have these symptoms, it can also be helpful to see a pelvic physiotherapist during periods of major change, such as during pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.
A pelvic physiotherapist can document your pelvic and core muscle function during pregnancy which makes it easier to figure out what has changed postpartum since you have a baseline recorded. We can help you strengthen your pelvic floor which may slightly shorten your labour time and prevent damage. We can teach you to relax and let go of pelvic tension so your baby can make its way out during delivery. This is a great way to learn strategies that may make your birth experience smoother and find out what you can start with in those early postpartum days to facilitate your recovery.
Seeing a pelvic physiotherapist around 6-8 weeks postpartum or when you feel ready (even if that is a few years later ) will give a clear picture of pelvic floor and core muscle function. Too much muscle tension or weakness are best to address sooner rather than later to help you function at your best and feel strong and comfortable. It may also help to avoid problems with leaking or prolapse if you don’t have those issues or help to alleviate your symptoms if you do. Birth can be super empowering but can lead to a number of concerns. If you had physical trauma to another body part you would likely see a physiotherapist to get it checked out; this is very comparable.
Menopause is another pivotal time to be assessed. At this time, estrogen levels plummet drastically which can lead to vaginal and vulvar dryness, thinning of your pelvic tissue, and more. Thinner tissues lead to less support of the pelvic organs, and at this point prolapse and incontinence become more common. Even if you DO NOT have issues, a pelvic physio can help you to identify what to work on to keep things that way. Prevention, prevention, prevention!
Empowering you to take charge of your pelvic health
In summary, see a pelvic physiotherapist if you have specific concerns. See them if you don’t, just for a check up, during major periods of change. It is really uplifting to find out where you are at! If you have Wonder Woman strength and can also relax like nobody’s business, great. It is awesome to get confirmation that things are going well and some helpful tips to keep it that way. We will help empower you to take charge of your pelvic health.
Blog Post by: Kate Jones from www.nestphysio.com, a Hamilton Ontario Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist providing in home care to women in Hamilton