Postnatal Pelvic Floor Assessment
Whether you deliver vaginally or through Cesarean the pelvic floor has gone through a lot of stress and strain carrying your baby through pregnancy and bringing life into the world. After the stress and strain of pregnancy, labour and delivery, the pelvic floor needs to recover in order to hold the pelvic organs (eg. bladder, uterus and intestines) in place and facilitate proper bowel, bladder and sexual function. Post-natal pelvic floor assessments are done through external and internal examination to ensure the structures are regaining strength and the pelvic organs are being held in place while you are lying down and standing up.
Symptoms of a dysfunctional pelvic floor can include:
Urine leakage with coughing, sneezing, laughing or just standing
Constipation or urgency with bowel movements
Feeling of needing to urinate, just after urinating
Low back pain/pubic pain
The presentation of these symptoms can be expected in the initial postpartum period. If these symptoms persist beyond 6 weeks postpartum, it is important to get them checked and treated for longterm health
During pregnancy, your belly grows and stretches to make space for your baby. By the end of your third trimester all pregnant people will experience a degree of separation of their abdominal muscles. This gap can be as small as 1 finger width and can grow to 4 fingers or larger. Following the birth of your baby not all bodies resume their prenatal closure and strength without intervention, education and exercise. It is important to learn how to activate the deep abdominal muscles to stabilize the core, maintain posture, reduce back pain and hold the abdominal contents in place.