Parkridge Health System - November 05, 2018

When you think about having a baby, there are a number of things you consider. From your birthing plan to whether you will breastfeed or not, you might think you’ve thought of everything you'll need during and after you give birth.

However, our team at Parkridge East wants you to think about something you might not have considered after giving birth--your pelvis. Because of the effects of birth, you may experience pelvic pain, ranging from minor and fleeting to severe and long-lasting.

Lindsay Johnson, DPT

Lindsay Johnson, DPT

Lindsay Johnson, DPT, offers physical therapy at Parkridge East and wants to share some perspective:

While Johnson assists both men and women with pelvic issues, the majority of patients she sees are women who are pregnant and having back pain, as well as women who have just given birth.

“After pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles begin to weaken, especially after each pregnancy, which is why many women will state they begin suffering from stress incontinence or urgency and/or frequency of urination,” Johnson says. "Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction may also occur, where women are unable to relax fully so they begin experiencing pain with intercourse or even begin experiencing rectal issues.”

There are four conditions that cause the most leakage for women:

  • Birthing a baby that weighs eight or more pounds
  • Multiple childbirths
  • Pushing for longer than two hours
  • Suffering a tear or laceration during birth

These medical conditions cause the most pelvic floor dysfunction in women.

Fortunately, in many cases, targeted physical therapy for around eight to 12 weeks can help improve a woman's weak pelvic floor muscles and help make them strong again.

“Depending on each woman’s condition, a medical evaluation would take place before physical therapy began to see how much therapy was needed,” Johnson says. “Then, after coming a few times a week for hour-long sessions, small improvements can be made after each session to help make your pelvic floor feel strong again.”

Wondering what maternity and postpartum services we offer? Visit the Parkridge East website to learn more about our facility, which was designed with mom and baby in mind.