Everything is different after having a baby, and I am not just talking about the life-changing event of welcoming a baby into your life and sleep patterns. I am talking about changes to your body. From stretched out ligaments to shifted internal organs – some things go back to the way they were on their own, and some things need a little help getting back to normal.
Even though so many women struggle with leaking on a regular basis, Shanahan assured me that leakage is not normal. And there is good news for women experiencing leaks; physical therapy can help.
It is not normal to leak urine, have constipation or have painful intercourse, the earlier you take care of it, the better off you will be, Shanahan said.
By now most women have probably heard of kegels, and their importance before, during and after pregnancy to strength the pelvic floor. But 70% of women are not doing their kegels correctly. Heather said that correct kegels are more about the coordination of the muscles than how hard you squeeze. And incorrect kegels can actually do more harm than good.
That’s why talking to your doctor is so important. Ask your doctor how to properly do kegels, and if you are having trouble with leaking or doing kegels correctly, make an appointment to speak with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can help determine exercises to help you strengthen your pelvic floor and core muscles to help stop leaking and make sure you are doing them correctly.
After childbirth, women can have asymptomatic prolapse and a splitting of the abdominal fascia or perineum or many other dysfunctions. It’s important to be screened, have your questions answered and take care of your body. Go see a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health, Shanahan said.
While taking care of her family’s needs, women often put their own health needs on the back burner. So Shanahan advises women to make a list of questions and things they want to discuss with their doctor before their visit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be sure to bring up any changes, pain or problems you might be experiencing.
Women in Central Florida who would like more information about women’s services can visit FHforWomen.com or call 407.303.4HER.