After childbirth some moms will experience post-childbirth symptoms they’ve never felt before. They may feel vaginal discomfort, incontinence, low back ache, and pelvic floor pain when sitting, standing or walking for a long period of time.
Some moms are too embarrassed to seek help and they suffer in silence. Or, they are told these symptoms are normal and there is nothing they can do about them.
Bacharach’s Pelvic Floor physical therapy program was brought to Bacharach about 15 years ago by pelvic floor treatment specialists Lynne Smejkal, PT.
During a patient’s first visit (no referral needed), a specialist provides a “Pelvic Floor 101” education on the related body parts and how they function. An examination of the back, hips, belly, ribs, abdominal muscles and diaphragm is next. Then, with permission, a pelvic floor muscle examination.
No Judgment Zone
“Our office is a no judgment zone – new moms can talk openly about their issues,” says Mora Pluchino PT, DPT, PRPC.
Mora Pluchino, PT, DPT
Based on the findings during the examination, a treatment plan is tailored to each person’s needs and comfort level. Therapy may include strengthening, stretching, relaxation, coordination and endurance activities – and sometimes manual techniques as needed. Biofeedback – a computer system that uses sensors (internal or external) – shows the specialists and the patient how well pelvic floor muscles are working. The pelvic floor specialist teaches moms how to perform these techniques at home as well.
Pelvic floor therapy can have a profound effect
A case in point is one of Mora’s patients – a waitress returning to work 6 weeks after having a baby. She felt a heavy feeling like “everything was falling out of her.” Through exercise and manual work for a month, the mom was able to go back to work and pick up her two kids again.
“With your guidance and abilities of coaching, confidence building and empathy, both physical and emotionally, I feel more like myself today than I have in a very, very long time.”
– Pelvic Floor Patient
Lynne recalls a post-partum patient who was very upset because she felt like “everything was falling out” after the birth of her second child. After two weeks of pelvic floor exercises and an education on pelvic floor issues, her patient was back to feeling normal.
“It’s very important for moms to seek professional help if they are experiencing any of these pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms,” says Lynne.
“In some cases, doing sit ups, for example does more harm than good. Rather, we provide women with education on how to get up from lying down, and alternative exercises to strengthen the abdominal wall.”
Both Lynne and Mora stress that women don’t need to feel like they are alone. There is help and there are things they can actively do to improve the health and recovery of their pelvic floor muscles.
For more information on Bacharach’s Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy program call Lynne or Mora at (609) 652-7000 x 6852 or x 5469 respectively. To get started with therapy, call and register at x5502.