Common Postpartum Conditions
Going through pregnancy is no easy task. You carry an ever-growing little human, AND an organ (the placenta) that your body creates to nourish that new life. This creates a lot of strain on your pelvic organs, muscles, bones and tissues.
There are many things that can happen throughout pregnancy and during childbirth that you will have to recover from post-birth.
Here are the most common postpartum conditions that you may encounter:
- Diastasis Recti, also known as abdominal separation, is a condition where the linea alba (midline of the outer abdominal wall) separates to make room for the baby during pregnancy. This creates some instability issues post birth and dramatically changes the way you can exercise your core. Our goal for recovery is to ensure you can create tension and stability in your core, to protect your pelvic and abdominal organs, as well as your spine. After birth, you’ll need to have your abdomen and pelvic floor muscles assessed by a pelvic floor physiotherapist (PFPT) to create a plan for proper recovery. Once you have seen a PFPT, you will need to work with a trained fitness professional to guide you through progressive strength building in the core, in order to recover properly, and ensure that you aren’t making the situation any worse. (hint: sit ups and crunches are out the window).
- Incontinence is defined as any unintentional loss of urine. It can happen post birth due to strain in the pelvic floor muscles that are normally tight enough to support your digestive organs (especially the bladder). If you lose any urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze or jump, you have incontinence. The solution is, again, to book in with a PFPT to assess the condition and teach you how to access your pelvic floor muscles, to increase strength and tone in those muscles, in order to support your bladder.
- Prolapse is when an organ drops into the vaginal wall, causing pain and discomfort, and sometimes requiring surgery. Your bladder and your rectum are two common organs that prolapse into the vaginal wall. You may require a pessary to hold your organs in place, however sometimes they can be healed through strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Solution? You guessed it! Get in to see a PFPT immediately!
- Low Back Pain is a condition in and of itself, but it can also be a symptom of any of the above. When your core is not stable, your muscles are not doing the work to support the spine and pelvis, therefore causing back pain. Slowly and safely, we need to make sure the core muscles are firing properly, and that we heal all the above conditions. Another thing that you can think about here is reducing inflammation with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods (mostly whole plant foods, healthy fats and proteins) and low in inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy and sugar are the main culprits).
How was your pregnancy, birth and recovery? Tell me about it in the comments!
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