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Before the 6 Weeks: How to optimize healing postpartum starting day 1

In other countries, like France and Ireland, postpartum women are referred to pelvic physical therapy immediately at 6 weeks postpartum! Yes, we are still catching up to the times here in the good ole’ USA, but small changes in South Jersey are happening! More recently, we have pushed the envelope to being seeing newly postpartum moms less than 6 weeks postpartum! Most women are previous clients we supported during their pregnancy, who trust in our care and see the opportunity to ask questions, be proactive and supported in this intimate transitional time. This opportunity allows women from day 1 postpartum, a safe and educational space for women to vocalize their concerns.

Calling the OB office feels like a dead-end with the never-ending answer, “Oh, its ok. You had a baby” or “That’s normal”. But we know as pelvis specialists, you want to be seen and encouraged to know what the road ahead looks like. It is our duty to assess, educate and care for any change to the musculoskeletal system either birth related or sports injury related!

What is happening day 1

A typical hospital birth, both vaginal and cesarean, mom and baby stay in the hospital for 1-3 days depending on health and readiness to return home. But let’s be honest, what rest or what hands on care are you really receiving in a hospital setting? There is a revolving door of specialists checking in from nursing care, lactation to cardiologist to neonatologist, so sleep is not happening! The goal of the hospital system is to maintain a safe medical status for both mom and baby. The goal is to ensure your blood pressure is stable, bleeding has stopped and you can pee or poop before you leave the hospital.

Few times does someone ask:

  • Do you feel comfortable walking to the bathroom?

  • Do you have any pain in your back or legs?

  • Do you feel confident to leave the hospital and care for yourself and the baby?

  • Is there someone who is going to help you at home?