During pregnancy, women go through a huge amount of physical and hormonal changes to accommodate the needs of their growing baby.
Post-delivery, many women will have a degree of abdominal and pelvic floor weakness due to the physical demands of pregnancy, hormonal changes and childbirth. Some women experience symptoms such as:
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty controlling wind
- Pain during sex
- A feeling of heaviness in the pelvis
- Pelvic pain
Although these symptoms are common, they shouldn’t be accepted as normal – physiotherapy can make a big difference.
A post-natal assessment by a specialist women’s health physiotherapist can address these symptoms and help stop them in the long term.
Women’s health physiotherapists are experts in understanding changes within the body during pregnancy and can help you in your post-natal recovery journey. If you’ve given birth, whether via vaginal birth or caesarean, we would recommend having a post-natal assessment.
What is a post-natal assessment?
This is a comprehensive exam by a women’s health physiotherapist, which is usually done around 6 weeks after giving birth. Although we recommend having an assessment in the early postpartum stages, it’s worth doing no matter how long ago you had a baby!
During your appointment, the physiotherapist will first ask you about your birth experience, general health and any specific concerns you may have; then you’ll have a physical exam that will include:
- Looking at your posture
- Assessing your abdominal muscles – this will include checking for tummy gap (diastasis rectus abdominis)
- A pelvic floor assessment
- Screening for bladder and bowel problems
- Screening for sexual dysfunction including pain
- Checking any scars
The physiotherapist will talk you through the results of your assessment and will use these to create a tailored treatment plan that is unique to you.
Treatment could include
- A bespoke rehab programme
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Advice about safe and appropriate post-natal exercises
- Manual therapy
- Lifestyle recommendations
The physiotherapist will help you to work towards your lifestyle and fitness goals whether that be confidence to return to your usual daily activities, or high intensity workouts and long distance running!
Get in touch
If you’d like to book an appointment with a women’s health physiotherapist, please get in touch by calling us on 020 7806 4010 or emailing [email protected].