There are a ton of symptoms that you may expect to experience during your 40 weeks of pregnancy. Not every woman has the same symptoms, but some of the ones that are commonly complained about are nausea, fatigue, and constant urination. What you may not know until after you've had your baby, is that there are some postnatal symptoms which can stay with you long after you've given birth
One of the most common postnatal issues that women face after giving birth, is the problem of a leaky bladder. A leaky bladder can happen for a number of reasons, but when it happens after pregnancy, it's most likely happening because your pelvic floor muscles have been weakened from carrying and delivering your baby. This means that even the smallest of actions like jumping up and down, going for a run or laughing too hard can make you pee just a little. Even if you had a C-section, you may experience these issues because your baby or babies, if you've had multiple children, practically lived on your pelvic floor for 9 months. As much of a bummer and inconvenience as this may seem, you are not alone. It has been found that approximately 35% of women experience this type of incontinence after becoming mothers.
The good news is that something can be done to reverse the effects of it and get you back to normal in no time. The best way to get ahead of this problem is to strengthen your muscles starting in your first trimester. If, however, you're past that stage, it's not too late. Most experts will advise a woman who has just given birth to wait until after her 6-week checkup before beginning the process of strengthening her pelvic floor muscles. But no matter how far past labor and delivery you are, you can do something about this issue and it does not have to be permanent.
Pelvic floor therapy is a practice that is quickly gaining popularity, as women vow to regain their bladders after labor and delivery, rather than just accepting their weakened bladders as their new normal. Pelvic floor physical therapy involves performing certain exercises that encourage relaxation and strengthening of the muscles of your lower pelvis. You can look up and attempt to do these exercises at home, but may want to consider hiring a professional for a couple of reasons. The first reason you may want to hire a professional, is that they will keep you accountable for actually carrying out the exercises on a regular basis. The second reason that you may want to hire a professional, is to make sure that you're doing the exercises properly, so that you can experience maximum recovery. A pelvic floor physiotherapist is a professional who will work with you, in order to do this.
Once you've discovered a pelvic floor physiotherapist whom you like, you may be wondering what your first pelvic floor therapy appointment will be like. As much as you may want to fast track your healing process, you can expect the first appointment to mainly be a consultation. Your therapist will want to learn more about what's happening with your body in your own words. You'll be given an internal exam and just like when you go to your gynecologist, you'll be asked to undress from the waist down. The internal exam won't be as extensive as when you visit your OBGYN, but will involve your therapist examining your pelvic floor muscles. They'll use gloves, lubrication and they'll use their finger to test the muscles that surround the vaginal canal. During this exam, they may ask you to do some things that will test the muscles, like doing a kegel or laughing.
After the exam is over, your pelvic floor physiotherapist will want to lay out a plan. That plan will include how many sessions you'll need as well as exercises that will be covered in your sessions. Your therapist will also talk to you about exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your pelvic muscles. Finally, your physiotherapist will also be there to answer any questions that they haven't covered, or that you might have about the process.