Seven Reasons Why you should see a Women’s Health Physical Therapist during and after pregnancy
This post is sponsored by Pelvica Physical Therapy
Women’s health physical therapy is at the top of my list of “Things I wish I knew about when I was pregnant.” My pregnancy was very uncomfortable – I suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatic pain, and a slew of other common discomforts related to pregnancy. If my conditions were treated by a women’s health physical therapist, I’m sure I would have had a less traumatic delivery and a speedier recovery. Women’s health physical therapy addresses the issues no one talks about during and after childbirth.
Women’s health physical therapy is the physical treatment of functional problems such as painful intercourse, incontinence, certain types of infertility, and pain relief during and after pregnancy. It’s been around since the 1970s and is still considered a growing field. Many patients are referred to women’s health physical therapists by their gynecologist or obstetrician.
Here are 7 reasons why you should see a Women’s Health Physical Therapist during AND after pregnancy:
1. Because medication doesn’t heal everything
No two pregnancies are alike, so every woman’s body responds to these changes different ways. The hormonal changes and fluctuation in weight gain affect muscles, joins, ligaments, and overall posture. In turn, a woman might experience pain in one or more of the following areas: back, rib-cage, pelvis, buttock, tailbone, sacroiliac joint (SI), hip, or pubic areas. Meri Meloyan of Pelvica Physical Therapy in Santa Monica uses a holistic approach to pain relief. Through education and guidance, patients receive and learn how to manage pain by non-medical means.
2. Because vaginal tearing happens and it hurts
Vaginal tearing occurs mainly as a result of vaginal childbirth, which strains the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus). First-time moms have a 95 percent chance of experiencing some form of tearing during delivery. At Pelvica Physical Therapy, Meri Meloyan instructs patients on how to correctly perform perineal massage. Studies show that women who did regular perineal massage reported less vaginal pain in the weeks after childbirth. By stretching the muscle and tissue using this method, the area will be less traumatized during delivery.
3. Because sex should be enjoyable, not painful
Painful sex is an issue not many women discuss with their healthcare providers. It usually goes untreated and remains unaddressed. Many women who have episiotomy scars or vaginal tears suffer from painful sex. There are several effective treatments, and Meri Meloyan at Pelvica Physical Therapy can help find the right one for you. Her calm, nurturing, and professional demeanor makes it easy for clients to discuss your most personal issues.
4. Because you shouldn’t have to worry about peeing when you laugh or sneeze
“Peeing a little bit by accident,” is another subject that’s not typically shared in conversation, even among veteran moms and good friends. Urinary leaking is quite common, especially after childbirth. Most women brush it off and resort to wearing pads, accepting it’s a part of life, or hope it will go away in time. At Pelvica Physical Therapy, patients undergo a thorough evaluation which to identify the cause and type of incontinence (there are six types of urinary incontinence), and are given the appropriate treatment.
5. Because C-sections don’t exclude you from pelvic pain
Women who have undergone a C-section are still equally at risk of developing the similar issues as those who delivered vaginally. These issues include intercourse pain, incontinence, back and pelvic pain, due to the stresses and strains on the body during pregnancy. C-sections compromise the abdominal muscle wall, which can create low back pain. Some women suffer pain from their C-section scar for years without treatment.
6. Because there’s a way to reduce the “pregnancy pooch.”
“Diastasis recti” is what most people refer to as a “pooch.” It’s a very common condition that is associated with lower back pain, constipation, and urine leaking. During pregnancy, there can be so much pressure on the belly that the muscles can’t keep their shape, and therefore separate. This condition can remain after childbirth if untreated. A pelvic physical therapist specializes in treating this condition. Each person is unique and an evaluation with a women’s health physical therapist such as Meri Meloyan can determine which treatment, techniques, and exercises will work best.
7. Because it will help you “get back to feeling like yourself again”
Clinical research has confirmed that post-natal maternal care is “a neglected aspect of women’s health care” in the US. In several countries, such as France, Australia, and the UK, Women’s Health Physical Therapy is common and promoted. France, the leader in this type of therapy, has a government sponsored program which pays for postpartum women to “re-educate” their vagina. This education is via pelvic physical therapy, with the intention to firm and tone the postnatal pelvic floor and insure women can easily and safely have another child.
Pelvica Physical Therapy in Santa Monica closes the gap between baby delivery and a healthy lifestyle.
Postpartum is traditionally defined as the time immediately after giving birth to six weeks after. The reality is most women take longer to recover. If injuries aren’t addressed, the pain and complications (pain with sex, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence) can last a lifetime. Meri Meloyan’s whole-body approach in pelvic physical therapy addresses postpartum issues related to vaginal births AND c-section surgeries.
Most people don’t take an interest in getting to know their body until it’s necessary. Do yourself a favor and get informed.
Contact Meri at Pelvica Physical Therapy by calling 424-249-9977 for a free consultation
Special offer: Mention Westside Mommy for 25% off your first treatment.
What to Expect at Pelvica Physical Therapy
- Personalized one-on-one sessions: rooms are not shared and you have Meri’s full, undivided attention
- Trusting, professional, and confidential environment: Pelvica Physical Therapy is a safe place to discuss issues such as incontinence, painful intercourse, or other types of pain. Meri encourages full disclosure of all issues and patients should never feel embarrassed.
- Thorough explanation and education: Meri uses a calm, informative approach and will make sure the client understands everything before moving forward Current and most effective treatment methods: through continued education, Meri stays up-to-date on the latest pelvic physical therapy treatments
Women’s Health Physical Therapy in Santa Monica
Pelvica Physical Therapy
1260 15th St. Suite 616
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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