Imagine you’re training for a half marathon. You’re halfway through a training run and suddenly find yourself landing hard on the ground and grab your thigh in agonizing pain. You follow up with your orthopedic doctor and learn you’ve suffered a grade 2 muscle strain on your hamstring. She’s recommended you hold off on running until further notice and refers you to physical therapy. At your initial evaluation with your PT, she explains: what a grade 2 muscle tear is, what average healing times are like, how you will need to modify your activities to support your healing, and how you will be working through a specific return-to-run protocol together over the next 12-16 weeks to get you back on track. This is the golden standard.
Now imagine you’ve just had a baby, and suffered an equivalent grade 2 muscle tear on your pelvic floor during delivery (ps: this is about half of all mothers in the US). You received stitches and were told to “take it easy over the next few weeks”. BUT your pelvic floor doesn’t get to take a break from helping you control bowel/bladder function, nor does it get to “take it easy” from serving as the foundation of your core system. It LITERALLY supports you and your little during all the feeding, swaddling, rocking, carrying, picking up/setting down, you do all day long. Then fast forward to your 6 week postpartum check-up and you’re given the “all clear” to “ease back into exercise” all by yourself with ZERO guidance or support. This is the standard.
The pelvic floor is made up of the same skeletal muscle tissue as your hamstring. It needs the same healing time and deserves the same recovery support from a trained physical therapist to have a successful outcome. So many lingering pelvic floor issues are because women don’t get this kind of care early on.
Mom life requires A LOT of heavy lifting and your pelvic floor is a critical player on your core team that enables you to do ALL of those things successfully, and for the long haul. Mama, you deserve a pelvic floor PT on your team to help you feel strong again from the inside out.
ASK for a PFPT referral at your 6 week postpartum visit.