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Postpartum Rehabilitation - Houston, TX - October 17-18, 2020 (Rescheduled)

  • Description

  • Schedule

  • Objectives

  • Location/Lodging

  • Instructors

  • Discounts

Price: $495 (Early Registrant Price $475)
Experience Level: Beginner
Contact Hours: 15

The postpartum woman may be one of the most overlooked clients in health care. Knowing the specific rehabilitation needs to help with common problems and to prevent future problems is the goal of this 2-day beginner level course. For the orthopedic-based practitioner, this course will solidify awareness of common orthopedic needs for the postpartum client. For the non-orthopedic practitioner, this course will provide a foundation for working with the client experiencing common postpartum-related musculoskeletal conditions. The course will open with brief case scenarios that highlight the difference between examination/evaluation in the postpartum vs. non-postpartum population. Labor and birth, birth complication and injuries, postpartum stages and concerns, and Cesarean birth all set the stage for the postpartum client and will be reviewed. Understanding typical hormonal and systemic recovery and return to “normal” during postpartum will be provided, including early postpartum changes in the endocrine, metabolic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, neurologic/sensory, integumentary, gastrointestinal, urinary/renal, reproductive, and musculoskeletal systems.

This course will cover examination considerations and modifications specific to postpartum, as well as specific questions to ask during history taking and methods for identifying red flags in postpartum. More comfortable positions during the examination/treatment and common posture/gait/balance changes during postpartum are covered. The participant at this course will understand necessary biomechanics training for daily activities, child care, and breastfeeding. As an expansion from the pregnancy rehabilitation course, participants will be taken through progression in diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) assessment and rehabilitation, including DRA exercises in lecture and lab. Additionally, addressing abdominal wall lengthening and Cesarean scars will be discussed and practiced in lab.

Overview of pelvic floor dysfunction in the postpartum after vaginal birth with external examination techniques will be expanded from the techniques taught during the pregnancy course. Basic bladder and bowel instructions/education for the postpartum client will be provided, along with guidance on when to refer to a pelvic physical therapist. As an advancement from the pregnancy rehabilitation course, progression in assessment and cueing of pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, and multifidus (deep core) muscle activity will be covered in lecture and lab. Lecture and lab will also address assessing and treating abdominal wall trigger points. Providing instruction and treatment in functional use of abdominal muscles with motor control and functional activities and progression of DRA/abdominal wall rehabilitation exercises will be incorporated into lecture and lab activities.

Basic orthopedic focus on common thoracic and cervical/head complaints in the postpartum will be explored during lecture and lab. This course will also briefly review breathing techniques covered during the pregnancy course. Additionally, discussion and lab practice of lumbar and pelvic girdle examination and treatment techniques in the postpartum will expand on topics covered during the pregnancy rehabilitation course. Review and lab practice will be provided for basic examination and treatment of lower and upper extremity birth and labor injuries.

Psychosocial considerations during postpartum will be explored: the “typical” postpartum patient; postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis; postpartum recovery after bedrest; collision of reality and expectations; and maternity leave and return to work decisions. Postpartum exercise, fitness, and wellness will ponder the topics of body image and return to fitness and starting exercise in the postpartum. The course concludes with discussion of marketing and billing needs for providing care for the postpartum population.



This continuing education seminar is targeted to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants, registered nurses, nurse midwives, and other rehabilitation professionals. Content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner's license or regulation. Physical therapy continuing education courses should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except, as they are involved in a specific plan of care.

Prerequisites: None


Are you interested in expanding your practice to treat prenatal patients? Herman & Wallace has put together a Pregnancy and Your Pelvic Floor marketing presentation to help you underscore the importance of prenatal physical therapy.


Gutke, A., Ostgaard, H. C., & Oberg, B. (2006) Pelvic girdle pain and lumbar pain in pregnancy: a cohort study of the consequences in terms of health and functioning. Spine, 31(5), E149-E155.
Ostgaard, H. C., Anderson, G. B. J., & Karlson, K. (1991). Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy: A review. Spine, 16(5), 549-552.

Day One:
7:30 Registration
8:00 Introduction, Goals, and Objectives
8:15 Overview of the Postpartum Client
9:00 Hormonal and System Changes and Recovery During Postpartum
9:45 Break
10:00 Abdominal Wall: Diastasis Rectus Abdominis and Post-Cesarean
11:00 LAB: Abdominal Wall Assessment and Scar Treatment
12:00 Lunch
1:00 General Examination Considerations for the Postpartum Client
1:30 General Treatment Considerations for the Postpartum Client
2:15 Pelvic Floor Postpartum
3:15 Break
3:30 LAB: Deep Core and DRA Rehabilitation Progression
4:45 Upper and Lower Quarter Concerns in the Postpartum
5:30 Day 1 Post Test and Wrap Up
6:00 Adjourn

Day Two:
8:00 Examination and Evaluation of Lumbar Spine and Pelvic Girdle in the Postpartum
9:00 LAB: Lumbar Spine and Review of Pelvic Girdle Testing and Treatment
10:00 Break
10:15 Examination, Evaluation, and Treatment of Cervical and Thoracic Spine in the Postpartum Client
11:00 LAB: Cervical and Thoracic Spine Examination and Treatment in the Postpartum Client
11:45 Lunch
12:30 Psychosocial Considerations During Postpartum
1:30 Postpartum Exercise and Fitness 2.06
2:30 Interactive Case Studies
3:15 Marketing and Billing
3:45 Day 2 Post Test and Wrap Up
4:00 Adjourn

Upon completion of this continuing education seminar, participants will be able to:
1. Define common terminology of the labor and delivery and the postpartum period.
2. Describe the physiologic changes in the postpartum period that assist a woman's body in returning to pre-pregnancy state.
3. List the endocrine system changes, including the risk for thyroid dysfunction, that influence the female patient during the postpartum period.
4. Define the stages of labor, common complications of labor and delivery, and the postpartum red flags.
5. Describe common clinical presentations for perineal trauma and pelvic floor dysfunction.
6. List indications and potential complications of c-section deliveries, as well as principles of c-section recovery.
7. List 2 common conditions and recommended treatment for the spine and trunk, abdomen, pelvic floor, pelvic girdle, upper and lower extremities during the postpartum period.
8. Instruct the postpartum patient in safe return to fitness activities.
9. Describe the challenges that new mothers face and instruct in practical strategies for body mechanics, sleep hygiene, and time management for postpartum recovery.
10. Complete medical screening for conditions in postpartum that require referral.

 NameStreet Address (Links to Map)
Course Location

Memorial Hermann Health System

929 Gessner Rd,
12 Orthopedic conference rooms A and B
Houston, TX 77024
Recommended Lodging

The Westin Houston, Memorial City
(281) 501-4300

945 Gessner Rd
Houston, TX 77024
Nearest Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Airport Code: IAH

2800 N Terminal Rd
Houston, TX 77032


Directions from Recommended Lodging to Course Location: (click here if no map appears below)

Darla Cathcart, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT

Darla Cathcart, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT

Darla graduated from Louisiana State University (Shreveport, LA) with her physical therapy degree, performed residency training in Women’s Health PT at Duke University, and is currently pursuing a PhD at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. Her dissertation research focus is on using non-invasive brain stimulation to augment behavioral interventions for women with lifelong vaginismus.

Darla’s certifications and training include: Women’s Health Certified Specialist (WCS, board certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties). Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP-Pelvic). Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT).

Darla began her women’s health physical therapy career in her first job while working with pregnant women with musculoskeletal problems in a private outpatient therapy clinic in Shreveport, LA (with a focus on spine rehab). While there, she developed and hosted an exercise class for pregnant women. She would go on to develop a mom and baby postpartum exercise class while in her Duke residency in Durham, NC. She went on to develop the pelvic, pregnancy, and post-breast cancer/lymphedema PT program at Christus-Schumpert Health system in Shreveport, LA. During this time, she participated in educating women in the labor and birth preparatory classes hosted by the hospital; she also taught the women’s health course for physical therapy students at LSU-Shreveport. Darla went on to serve as a full-time faculty member in the physical therapy program at University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR, where she taught women’s health topics, documentation, therapeutic exercise, professional development, and human physiology. She now owns a private PT practice that is dedicated to pelvic (bowel, bladder, and pelvic pain) and pregnancy/postpartum conditions in Conway, AR.

Darla has several peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed scientific publications. Amongst some of these, she co-authored “Clinical Summary: Urinary Incontinence” for PTNow.org in April 2015. She authored the chapter titled “The Female Hip and Pelvis” in Orthopedic Management of the Hip and Pelvis (S Cheatham, M Kolber, Elsevier, 2015). She chaired the committee for and participated heavily in the development of the Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy/Postpartum (CAPP-OB) course series for the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association. Darla has spoken and instructed many courses in local, national, and international settings on a variety of pelvic, pregnancy/postpartum, and other women’s health physical therapy topics. Darla has served as the Director of Education (2011-2014) and as Vice President (2015-2016) for the Section on Women’s Health, American Physical Therapy Association. She also served a technical expert panel member on Treatments for Fecal Incontinence, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2014-2015. She also volunteered as a Women’s Health Certified Specialist Exam Standardization Task Force member in May 2013. Darla received several awards from the Section on Women’s Health: CAPP-OB Instructor of the Year (2017); Course Site Hostess of the Year (2018); and Volunteer of the Year (2015). She also received Clinical Instructor of the Year while serving as a clinical instructor a pelvic health physical therapy student from Elon University in 2011.

On a personal note, Darla has twin boys who were born in 2008. She is a life-long runner and exerciser who loves dark chocolate, craft beer, and her Basset hound (George) and Basset-Dachshund mix (Peanut).

Attention: We are unable to offer "retro-active" discounts (i.e. applying a discount to a transaction after the transaction takes place), so if you are interested in exploring discount options and you are unsure if your transactions is eligible for a discount, please contact us to inquire.

Multi-Course Discount

This 10% discount is available for a single registrant who wishes to enroll in 3 or more courses, and pay in one transaction. Registrants wishing to enroll in 5 or more courses should contact us for a customized quote. We can also apply this discount if 2 therapists from a single clinic/hospital enroll in 3 or more courses (ie Registrant A enrolls in Course X and Course Y, Registrant B enrolls in Course X, and Registrants A and B both work at Clinic Z). This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts. Registration and payment must be received at the same time in one credit card payment, one check or one envelop with multiple checks. This type of registration cannot be completed online, if you are wishing to receive the Multi-Course discount please call or email us directly for assistance.

Group Discount

This discount is available for a group of three or more registrants, who all work at the same clinic/hospital, enroll in a single course, and pay in a single transaction or mail in multiple checks in a single envelope. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.

Groups of 3-5 receive a 10% discount off the combined price of their group's registrations.
Groups of 6 or more should call or Contact Us so that we can properly create an invoice for your registration.

Student Discount

This 10% discount is available to current students who have yet to earn a license to practice at the time of course registration. This discount is not available to those therapists who have previously held a license, and are currently enrolled in a doctoral, or other post-graduate, program. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.


To get this discount when checking out online, use the code 2020Student. (Note, this code is only valid for non-licensed students. The H&W admin team will verify that registrants signed up with this code are, indeed, current students prior to their attendance of the course).

First-Time Registrant Discount

This $50.00 discount is available to any therapist who has never before taken a Herman & Wallace course (no previous registrations) and can be used towards the registrant's first Herman & Wallace course (not applicable to Pelvic Floor Level 1/2A/2B or Capstone).

To apply this discount, please use the code FirstTimer2020 during check out. (H&W will check records to verify past attendance.)

Referral Credit/Discount

Any therapist who has already taken a Herman & Wallace course will earn a $50.00 "referral credit" if:

1. A therapist who has never taken a Herman & Wallace course successfully registers for his or her first course(s); AND
2. In the registration process, the first-time registrant gives the name and clinic/hospital of the therapist who referred them to Herman & Wallace.

A therapist who has earned a $50.00 "referral credit" may use this credit toward any course that is eligible for a "referral discount".

Guest Blogger Credit/Discount

Any therapist who completes a qualifying guest blog post on the Herman & Wallace blog will earn a $50.00 "guest blogger credit". This credit may be applied toward any course eligible for a "guest blogger discount".