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women discussing pelvic floor pre and post baby
Image courtesy of Getty Creative
As our reach expands beyond the realm of health care, we are seeing more and more articles around the internet about pelvic floor issues. Many sites that not long ago would have never posted such content are now looking into pelvic health.

A good example is this latest article on the Forbes website about strengthening your pelvic floor pre and post baby. In reasearching this article, Forbes writer Racheal Ede reached out to me for my input. Here is a brief synopsis of the article interspersed with a few notes from yours truly. A link to the full article is included below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Learn How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor Pre And Post Baby

Tips for pregnancy and beyond

The article opens with a brief overview of the impacts of pregnancy on the pelvic floor pre and post baby:

As pregnancy progresses, and even after delivery, you may notice changes in your pelvic floor — including leaking when you cough or sneeze or pain during sex — which could be signs of weaker pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles are often impacted by pregnancy, and childbirth puts considerable pressure on the pelvic floor and can cause issues long after delivery, which can in turn impact its functions and anatomy.

"Fortunately, you can strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor training can help your muscles cope with the demands of pregnancy and childbirth, and may also help the muscles restore themselves after injury.

This may not be news to regular readers of our site, but we have written many articles describing all aspects of pregnancy and pelvic floor health. Navigate here for links to pregnacy related diagnoses we treat, and here for the various treatments we offer

The article continues with lots of great background information for readers who are not familiar with the topic.

What is the pelvic floor and what does it do?

Racheal writes:

The pelvic floor is made of muscles and connective tissues that support the organs in your pelvic region, including the bladder, urethra, vagina, uterus, anus and rectum. The pelvic floor muscles form a hammock that stretches from your pubis (in front) to the spine (back), and are located between the sitting bones.

She goes on to describe the various duties of your pelvic floor muscles, including excretion, delivery, arousal, posture, and respiratory functions. This page lists all of the common pelvic floor related diagnoses we treat.

Pelvic Floor and Pregnancy

Racheal and I also discuss a number of factors that affect the pelvic floor during delivery, including:

  • Weight of the baby
  • The body's release of the hormone relaxin during delivery
  • Stretching of the Pudendal nerve
  • Complications that can weaken the muscles

Any of the above factors can contribute to a weakened or damaged pelvic floor, and may cause symptoms such as:

  • Urinary incontinence (unintentional loss of urine)
  • Fecal incontinence (unintentional loss of stool)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (when organs in the pelvis shift from their position and bulge into the vagina)
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex

Other Conditions That Can Affect the Pelvic Floor

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Surgeries

Other factors like smoking, heavy lifting, chronic constipation (which can cause straining to pass stool), and persistent coughing may also contribute to weakness of the pelvic floor.

These are just some snippets from the full article. Go here for the full article at the Forbes website which includes tips on strengthening the pelvic floor pre and post baby, and go here if you're ready to take the plunge with one of our trained physical therapists.

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Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by A.W., age 32

I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

-- A.W., age 32
(completed Post-partum Renewal Program using the InTone biofeedback/stim unit)

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

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