This post was written by H&W instructor Allison Ariail, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA, BCB-PMD. Allison will be instructing the Care of the Postpartum Patient course in Houston in June.
As Mother’s day weekend approaches, I take time to think about the dramatic changes in life that occur with the birth of a baby! No one is quite prepared for how much their life will change with the birth of their child, especially their first child! There are numerous changes that occur in a woman’s life during the pregnancy and into the postpartum time, both emotionally and physically. Any woman who has had a baby knows our bodies do not revert back to the exact body we had prior to pregnancy. New moms may be left with changes in their body that can greatly affect their function. Physical therapy in the postpartum time can greatly improve a woman’s well-being and function. We can treat a woman for back pain, diastasis rectus separations, incontinence, thoracic outlet syndrome, nerve damage that occurred during delivery, and many more issues a woman may present with. We also are a listening ear for the new mom going through many changes and hormonal upheaval. It is important to stay open and listen in a non-judgmental way. New moms are inundated with unsolicited advice in a way that no other patient population is. Having a safe place to come and get treated physically can help her emotionally as well.
During pregnancy and the postpartum time many habits are formed that if not changed can influence and shape how a woman lives the rest of her life. For example, night time voiding is common for pregnant women. If a woman continues to void every time she gets up with the baby in the middle of the night once she delivers, she may continue or even worsen her habit, thus creating an issue that will greatly affect her overall sleep health and well-being for the rest of her life. Having an objective person educate a woman about some of these habits can be very enlightening for an individual!
Receiving therapy in the postpartum time can influence a woman’s overall health in the immediate future as well as down the road. There are special things to consider when treating a postpartum woman and a women’s health therapist is the best person to treat her.
You can learn about special topics that affect a postpartum woman in Care of the Postpartum Patient course. The next time this course is being offered is June7-8 in Houston, Texas. So as mother’s day comes upon us, let’s celebrate the amazing journey we and other moms take in becoming a mom. Let us embrace the remarkable changes that occur physically and emotionally and thank our own mothers, as well as ourselves, for being willing to undergo these changes!