Many people see new birth as the last step or end result to pregnancy. But for a new mom, giving birth is just the beginning of a long journey for physical well-being. The bodily changes the mom undergoes before, during, and after birth can lead to new or unexpected pains after the baby is born.
In countries like France or the Netherlands, doctors recommend 2-3 months of postpartum rehabilitation to help mothers gain strength and normalcy in their lower back, abdomen, pelvic organs and pelvic region.
But many American moms do not receive postpartum physical therapy after birth. American doctors typically check in with new moms after 6 months, then clear new mothers for regular activity and exercise.
The lack of therapy can come at a cost: according to a recent study, 85 percent of mothers experience pain when having sex for the first time after childbirth. Many of these mothers also experience pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and diastasis recti after birth, and might see little or slow improvement over time. In addition, there are musculoskeletal complications that come after childbirth, which can result in back pain, hip problems, and overall abdominal pains. Without physical therapy, these problems can worsen over time.
Unlike an OB/GYN, a physical therapist is better equipped at analyzing and identifying causes of distress from muscles, tissues, nerves and joints that were used during the entire pregnancy and birthing process. Therapists can give individualized rehabilitation programs to mothers, depending on their needs and problems. They can also give mothers new alternatives to do daily tasks without creating stress on their abdominal muscles too. Overall, these programs can improve the mother's life and well-being.
For expecting mothers or new moms, consider seeing a physical therapist to help solve your postpartum pains. To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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