Congratulations! You had a baby!
You’re definitely over the hardest part! (Speaking from my own personal experience, that is!) Now it’s time to heal.
Postpartum women, whether the birth is natural or C-section, all need some musculoskeletal after-care.
Mothers that opt for a natural birth can encounter postpartum issues like incontinence, upper and lower back/neck pain, groin pain, and pelvic floor muscle laxity/pressure. Another common issue is rectus diastasis (split abdominal muscles) which leads to that pesky “pooch” many new moms experience.
Losing extra baby weight is an immediate goal for many new moms after birth. Personally, I was more focused on trying to sneeze without needing to change my non-maternity pants. Having had two natural births, my pelvic floor muscles were in need of a little T.L.C.
Healthy pelvic core and pelvic floor muscles should be strong and resilient, but let’s be honest, babies do a number on our bodies.
How to strengthen your pelvic floor –
Some easy ways to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor between breastfeeding, diapers, and naps are by doing exercises like Kegels, Gluteus Bridges, Bird Dogs, Stirring the Pot, and Dead Bug Crunches (see the “how-to” images below). Better yet, all of theses exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home!
Keeping active before, during and after the birth not only assists you during labor and delivery, but also leads the way to a smooth and swift recovery.
In addition to the exercises mentioned, the electroacupuncture treatments we provide at Greenwich Sports Medicine can be extremely helpful. A 15 minute treatment directed at the S2, S3, and S4 foramen region (extreme low back/ sacrum) can in fact effect the pelvic floor muscles indirectly by stimulating the pudendal nerve. This nerve provides motor supply to various pelvic muscles.
When we use this technique we wake up the brain/nerve connection in the targeted area leading to increased blood-flow. This stimulates the nerves that control the pelvic floor. With regular treatment, results are noticeable within just a few short weeks.
Postpartum life is challenging as is. Don’t let incontinence add stress to your life.
By Dr. Betsy Pulick