Becoming a parent is one of life's most amazing experiences, but bringing your baby into this world also brings a whole new set of challenges—including recovering from the physical stress of childbirth. Although many bounce back after just a few weeks, others will experience pain and discomfort for a long time to come. Thankfully, physiotherapists can do a lot to help you feel better after childbirth and get back to living a healthy, active lifestyle with your little one. Here are four reasons you should book an appointment.
1. Physiotherapists can help with incontinence
Unsurprisingly, childbirth is hard on your pelvis. Hormones, frequent trips to the bathroom, and a baby's head dilating the birth canal can all result in a weakened pelvic floor. In turn, this can lead to incontinence— leak a small amount of urine or stool unintentionally. This happens when the muscles that hold in your pee or stool aren't strong enough to keep it in place. Physiotherapists can help you strengthen your pelvic floor to reduce the risk of incontinence.
2. Physiotherapists can reduce pain
As if giving birth wasn't painful enough, many new parents find themselves experiencing pain after childbirth too. Back aches are the most common, but pain can occur in other parts of the body too. On top of that, giving birth can make it hard to stay as active as you were prior to your pregnancy, making it harder to strengthen aching muscles and joints. Pain reduction is another area where physiotherapists can help. They can prescribe exercises that strengthen your body again and use therapeutic massage techniques to soothe your body.
3. Physiotherapists can offer advice on breastfeeding
Many experience some pain or discomfort when they first begin breastfeeding because their breasts are swollen and engorged with milk. Others have trouble getting their baby to latch on. While you may immediately think of going to a lactation consultant or midwife when you have trouble breastfeeding, you may be able to get help at your physiotherapy appointment. A physiotherapist can use natural techniques to help you manage inflammation in your breasts and advise you on your body's most comfortable position for breastfeeding. On top of that, physiotherapists who have paediatric experience may be able to assess your baby's neck and jaw to see if there are any problems that would affect breastfeeding.
4. Physiotherapists can help prevent postpartum depression
Finally, physiotherapists have a lot to offer when it comes to helping you manage your mood after childbirth. Many people experience some post-partum depression or anxiety, but if you're one of them, it's not necessarily your fault. Physiotherapists work with patients all the time who have had plenty of support through their pregnancy and still struggle to handle the stress and exhaustion of a new baby, caring for other children in their lives, and the changes happening in their bodies. Having someone who knows how your body is working and feeling just after childbirth can help you feel more confident about going through this huge transition.