Sharing with you today TEN Things you don’t have to settle for:
- Debilitating pain during pregnancy – when asking a group of pregnant women whether or not they experienced pain during pregnancy, 75% raised their hands and said they had, but very few actually pursue treatment for pain. Most assume that pain in pregnancy is just “normal” and they have to deal with it, and may even have been told that by their practitioner. I, however, have treated many pregnant women for back/pelvic/hip pain along with sciatica and have seen GREAT results! You don’t have to live with pain and you deserve to enjoy your pregnancy!
- Giving birth without being equipped with tools to decrease pain and perineal trauma – Many women go into labor ill-equipped with just a basic Lamaze course, and figure that their doctor and nurses will tell them what to do. But taking the time to actually learn WITH your partner techniques you can do to reduce the length of labor, pain, and potentially perineal trauma can significantly impact your labor and delivery experience, and your pelvic floor for the rest of your life! Consider hiring a doula, or come and see me for a labor and delivery prep appointment with your partner! I’d love to show you techniques that are proven by research to work well!
- Losing all strength during pregnancy – During pregnancy, our core muscles take the brunt of change as the transverse abdominis gets stretched out (basically turning off the function of this muscle) and the pelvic floor takes on increased weight, causing weakness in BOTH muscles, which can make for a difficult recovery postpartum. I am passionate about preventative care and working these muscles early-on during pregnancy so that we keep these muscles active. This will not only help with pain and function during pregnancy but will also allow for an easier recovery postpartum.
- Leaking urine when you cough/sneeze during pregnancy OR postpartum – THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I can’t say this enough. It doesn’t need to be a joke among moms. In fact, I’d like for this joke to become extinct because it’s not helpful for those of us trying to educate women and teach them that they don’t have to settle for this! You don’t have to leak a drop. And oftentimes it’s actually a pretty easy, quick fix. Let’s get to work and make this common issue no longer normal for you.
- Spending hours in back labor or not progressing without a clue of what to do. – I personally have experienced back labor on 2 occasions. The first time was in labor with my first child. I walked the halls of the hospital all night in significant pain, without anyone to give me good suggestions of how to find some relief or even explain the cause. Back labor is most often a sign that baby is not in the correct position, and so performing manual techniques and utilizing various recommended positions to give baby room to turn is ideal. I had the chance to experience this once again with my 5th child’s labor, and thankfully I knew exactly what to do and her labor and delivery were SO much smoother!
- Ending up in c-section bc the baby appears too big for the pelvis/in a poor position, etc. – It is a common misconception that women have cephalopelvic disproportion. What is more common, is that women are pushing on their backs, so there is no room for the sacrum to rotate, leaving less space for baby to move and exit through the pelvic outlet. The fact is that 97% of women have a pelvis capable of vaginal birth, most often regardless of baby’s size. I teach moms and their partners alternative positions to pushing on their backs, and how to use positions and manual techniques to HELP increase the size of the pelvic outlet, which means fewer moms ending up in an unnecessary c-section.
- A diastasis that never heals. Most diastases can heal WITHOUT surgical intervention, including larger diastases of several cm in width. What is the key? Doing THE RIGHT exercises for YOU, being CONSISTENT, PATIENT, and modifying daily activities so you’re not constantly putting pressure on the diastasis. If you have a diastasis, please don’t just buy some online programs where you go at it on your own. Work WITH a women’s health PT who can guide you along the way, b/c you don’t have a cookie-cutter body, so you shouldn’t do a cookie-cutter program. It’s simply not going to work for everyone. You are worth investing in!
- Expectations to do more/lose weight quickly/jump back into an intense exercise routine postpartum – One of the biggest concerns I have with postpartum women is the expectation they put on themselves or they feel from others to get back to “normal” as quickly as possible. Here is the deal mommas – your body changed and stretched and grew over the course of 9 months. I used to say 9 months in, so give yourself 9 months to recover. I no longer say that, because it wasn’t’ the best advice. What I tell moms now – give yourself as MUCH time as you need, but don’t put any expectations on yourself b/c that just leads to unnecessary pressure. What you should focus on: taking care of your baby and taking care of yourself. Those are your TOP priorities. Throughout the first year, your body is recovering from giving birth, figuring out how to nourish another human plus provide itself with adequate nutrition, your uterus is shrinking, your muscles are trying to learn how to work again, your posture is changing, your ligaments are slowly tightening, your baby is changing sleep schedules only to go through another developmental phase, teething, growing, and learning. These may all be “normal and common,” but I assure you that they play a HUGE impact on your everyday life, including your own nutrition, sleep, stress level, and hormones. BE KIND TO YOU. Lay off the expectations. Give yourself time.
- Painful intercourse postpartum – this is such a common issue, and it’s not talked about nearly enough. Intercourse can be painful postpartum for a number of reasons. If you are breastfeeding, your natural lubrication will be lower leading to increased friction with penetration, and birth trauma, a tight pelvic floor, and pelvic organ prolapse can also contribute to pain. Here’s what a lot of women are told: drink some wine and try to relax. This is terrible advice and is not even helpful. This advice says, “There’s really nothing you can do about it, so good luck.” It’s also not true. There IS a lot we can do to help, but seeing a women’s health PT is a MUST. I believe sex is a beautiful gift that God has given a husband and wife, and really is an essential piece of intimacy for BOTH partners. Don’t “just deal with it.” Let’s restore this piece as God intended.
- Running to the bathroom every hour. I hear a lot of women complain or just simply joke around about having to go to the bathroom so often. Sometimes it’s due to actually too much fluid consumption (yes, it’s possible that you are actually drinking TOO much water), but other times it’s due to urgency. Urgency is the feeling of having to go to the bathroom without the actual complete filling of the bladder. Urgency is multifactorial, but partly is based on a brain/bladder message that has gotten twisted, and we need to re-train this message to be heard correctly once again.
This is a big list, but I’ve seen and heard every single one of these stories. If anyone tells you, “That’s just the way it is”…well, I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true.
I’m seeing pregnant patients have a more functional and less painful pregnancy with PT, I’m seeing women have a different labor and delivery experience, I’m seeing women recover from debilitating and annoying incontinence, and I’m seeing women choosing to move their bodies in a SMART way during pregnancy AND postpartum bc they know TRUTH.
If you are pregnant, early postpartum, or MANY years postpartum, I’d LOVE to serve you! It would be a JOY to show you another way.