Bouncing Back After Baby - Functional Advantage
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Bouncing Back After Baby

 “Bouncing Back After Baby” a phrase you’ve probably heard constantly during pregnancy. But what does this entail? As you probably know by now, it’s amazing what your body is capable of. But unfortunately, postpartum bodies are not perfect. Muscle weakness, posture changes, and healing tissues can lead to aches, pains, and impaired function. Luckily physical therapy is available to help women during and after pregnancy with many of these new changes and challenges.

Why All New Moms Should Have Physical Therapy 

Research shows that 90% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy, and almost 75% of women report having low back pain after delivery.

Sometimes this back pain can become chronic and can interfere with daily activities including picking up, feeding, or caring for your child. Unfortunately, the pain will not just magically go away.

Only 32% of women who have pregnancy low back pain report it to their care providers. And of those who report pain to their providers only 25% of these women get treatment for their low back pain. This means a huge number of women are not getting any treatment or professional help for their physical problems after having a baby.

So why aren’t more women getting physical therapy after pregnancy? Their bodies just went through a huge change, they may have had surgery, and their physical demands have increased since they now must take care of a newborn.

Common Postpartum Problems

Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti):

When we are pregnant our uterus and stomachs grow as the baby grows. This new growth can place extra pressure on the tissue that runs down the middle of your abs. The added pressure can lead to a separation of your abdominal muscles known as diastasis recti. Untreated diastasis recti can contribute to low back pain, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and other issues in our body.

As a physical therapist, we can assess and provide proper treatment to help heal diastasis recti.

Cesarean Section Scar Healing:

One in three women have a cesarean section which is a major surgery in which several layers of the abdomen are cut open. Although it varies in the amount of scaring you may have after surgery, a physical therapist can perform and educate you on different scar mobility and massage techniques so you can have a successful recovery. 

Low Back Pain:

Pregnancy related low back pain is the most common problem we see during and after pregnancy. Due to changes in the body’s structure and posture during pregnancy many muscles and ligaments can become stressed out and irritable. The core muscles are often weak so there is a lack of stability which can further contribute to pain in the back.

Upper Back and Neck Pain:

Upper back and neck pain is also often present postpartum. Upper back pain is reported in about 43% of postpartum women. This again is due to muscle imbalances and your posture while holding baby, feeding baby, and more.

There are numerous other things a physical therapist can assist a new mom with after having a baby. Other impairments that often need to be addressed are posture, gait, breathing patterns, body mechanics, and potentially nerve pain.

How Physical Therapy Can Help New Moms After Pregnancy 

There are numerous ways physical therapy could help a woman after pregnancy.

A few examples include:

- Help aid appropriate healing of C-section scars/incisions

- Education on body mechanics and positioning techniques to improve function and prevent pain

- Provide specific techniques and exercises to heal and strengthen the abdominal muscles which   can help postpartum moms retrain the deep core muscles to work effectively and appropriately

- Assess posture, breathing patterns, and gait mechanics for correctness and efficiency

- Evaluate and treat low back pain. Possible techniques include massage, manipulations, and   appropriate exercises.

- Provide an individualized treatment plan for safe return to exercise

Everyone’s pregnancies and birth stories are different so there is no one size fits all treatment for new moms. An individualized treatment session with us would allow our therapist to look at your specific needs and come up with solutions specific to your issues.

If you would like to set up a free 20-minute consultation to talk one-on-one with one of our physical therapists about your postpartum aches and pains, give us a call at 989-573-8588 or click here to fill out a short form and request an appointment. 

Neil Sauer

Neil Sauer

Physical Therapist, Certified Health Coach and company owner Neil Sauer graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science. During that time he played four years of collegiate soccer. Neil earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University in 2006. He has taken continuing education courses for Stanley Paris manual therapy techniques and a Gary Gray Functional Training course. He has also taken selective functional movement assessment courses with the North American Sports Medical Institute (NASMI). Neil’s treatment philosophy goes beyond reducing pain and restoring motion/mobility. He has a passion for health and wellness and for improving the quality of life of his clients, and works holistically with them to ensure their injuries do not reoccur and that his clients enjoy optimal functionality. He strives to help his patients live more active, mobile and healthy lives knowing that they don’t have to rely on pain medications, injections or surgery. In his personal life, he is married and has two sons. During spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, spending time outdoors and leading an active and healthy life. Neil also likes to read as much as possible when he finds/makes time. He primarily reads books on leadership, business and special forces. An avid exercise enthusiast, he continually works to improve his own health and wellness.
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