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Pregnant & Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common problem that often goes undiagnosed. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help through a variety of techniques.

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The Facts  |  Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy During Pregnancy  |  Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy  |  Free Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Guide  |  People Who We Help  |   Customer Reviews  |   Leave Us a Message

The Facts

The pelvic floor and pelvic girdle muscles undergo significant changes during pregnancy and labor and delivery. Optimal pelvic health during pregnancy can help reduce musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, ease labor and delivery, and help reduce postpartum complications. In 2018 the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued a statement acknowledging that postpartum care in the United States needs to be improved, suggesting the term “4th Trimester” should be used for the immediate postpartum period and that postpartum women need more care than what is currently being offered. All pregnant and postpartum women can benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy given the crucial role these muscles play during delivery and how prevalent dysfunction is after birth. Pelvic floor physical therapy reduces the risk of pelvic organ prolapse, urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction, and pelvic pain. Similar to other diagnoses we treat, many of our patients tell us they wish they knew about us sooner.

  • 71% of women are unaware that vaginal deliveries increase the risk of pelvic floor disorders
  • Up to 70% of women experience stress urinary incontinence in the postpartum period
  • 36% of women have persistent Diastasis Rectus Abdominis after delivery
  • 51% of women can not perform a kegel with verbal cuing alone, 25% of women perform the exercise in a manner that promotes further dysfunction
  • Up to 65% of women experience sexual dysfunction 18 months postpartum, regardless of the method of delivery
  • 21% of women who undergo vaginal deliveries have Levator Ani Avulsion
  • 29% of women undergoing vaginal deliveries have pubic bone fractures
  • 77% of postpartum women have low back pain that interferes with daily tasks
  • Vaginal deliveries are the number one risk for pelvic organ prolapse

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy During Pregnancy

Our bodies undergo significant changes as the pregnancy progresses. Many women experience symptoms that pelvic floor physical therapy can address. You will have a private 1-1 evaluation with a pelvic floor physical therapist. The evaluation includes your medical history, a movement analysis, and an assessment of your posture, muscles, and nerves. For patients with pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain, and/ or leakage (incontinence), an internal vaginal and/or rectal exam may be performed to optimize your outcome and recovery time.

  • Constipation
  • Urinary urgency, frequency, and leaking
  • Pubic symphysis pain/separation
  • Sacro-iliac joint, hip, and back pain
  • Sciatic pain

Fortunately, some women tolerate pregnancy very well and experience no unwanted symptoms. For these women, pelvic floor physical therapy can help with the following:

  • Optimize pelvic floor motor control to aid in labor and delivery
  • Instruction in perineal massage to reduce perineal injuries
  • Improve pelvic floor and pelvic girdle neuromuscular function to reduce pain and dysfunction in the postpartum period
  • Education and support throughout the pregnancy and during the postpartum period
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Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

All new moms should undergo an evaluation with a pelvic floor physical therapist. Ideally, this evaluation would take place in the first year following delivery; however, it is never too late to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Postpartum pelvic floor physical therapy can help with:

  • Urinary retention, urgency, frequency, hesitancy, pain and incontinence (leaking)
  • Constipation, difficulty with bowel movement, fecal incontinence
  • Painful sex, diminshed or absent orgasm
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
  • Restoring core function and strength: abdominals and pelvic floor
  • Pelvic floor and pelvic girdle, low back, and hip pain
  • Cesarean section and episiotomy scar tissue and pain
  • Pelvic organ prolapse prevention and/or treatment
  • Eliminate pain from perineal and/or levator ani trauma
  • Reduce pain from pelvic neuralgias

Move Better. Live Better.

Note: If your pelvic floor issue is urgent.

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Free Guide For Women Who Want To End Bladder Leakage And Back Or Pelvic Floor Pain:

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Everything You Need To Know About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy - 29 Frequently Asked Questions

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A Personal Message from Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Kim Gladfelter

If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, back or pelvic floor pain, or any type of pelvic floor dysfunction, the first thing I want to do is make clear that I AM familiar with your concern and I have seen this before many times. This condition is NOT your fault. I know what causes it, that it is real. More importantly, I know just what to do about it and I can reassure you there IS hope for a HEALTHY future for you. One that is FREE from the suffering pelvic floor issues bring.

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Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
SPECIALIST PHYSICAL THERAPIST, SPEAKER, AUTHOR

People Who We Help:

→ On-the-Go Women of all ages who want to be able to work, play, and laugh without the embarrassment and hassle of bladder leaks...and always worrying where the nearest restroom will be.

→ Empowered Women who want real answers and solutions to their sexual pain, having been told too many times to “just relax.”

 → Health-Conscious Women who know that medication is not the long-term solution to their pelvic pain, bladder urgency, or constipation, and who feel let down by the health care system and want to GET BETTER!

 → Forward-Thinking Moms who realize that the sooner they take care of their postpartum bellies, bladders, backs, and bottoms, the less likely that they will have ongoing problems that prevent them from participating in every fun moment with their kids!

 → Self-Aware Athletes who want to achieve their fitness goals by addressing their pelvic floor issues, back pain, and hip pain, and putting the WHOLE PICTURE together so that they can move better, feel better, and perform better.

 → Gracefully Aging Adults who know that incontinence is not a normal part of aging, want to stay active, independent, and able to enjoy activities with family and friends for decades to come.

 → Women with As-Yet Unexplained Pelvic or Abdominal Pain who still want their life back, and are not giving up hope, even after seeing numerous health care practitioners and being told that it’s “in their head” or that pain medication is the only answer for them.

Note: If your pelvic floor issue is urgent.

Choose Which One Works Best For You...

Just click one of the buttons above and then fill out the simple form.

Customer Reviews

"Early in my pregnancy with my second baby, I developed some pain in my hips. I kept exercising and stretching, and I assumed that the pain would go away after his birth. Boy, was I mistaken! Three weeks after having an uncomplicated childbirth, I could barely walk, let alone pick up my baby or my toddler. My own self-care measures of stretching and exercise seemed to make my symptoms worse, not better. Since I'd been taking Pilates and TRX classes at Physiofit for years, physical therapy was at least on my radar. After the improvement I saw after just a few visits with Mika, I really wish I'd considered physical therapy sooner! The treatment and progressively more challenging exercises I've been given for both my hips and shoulder and neck problems I developed caring for my newborn have made it possible for me to start feeling like myself again. I can finally do TRX again, and--most importantly--I can keep up with my baby and toddler as well as anyone can be expected to!"

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Alisa Stutzbach
38, Mountain View

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