I think I’ve seen you mention your pelvic floor specialist a few times, and I’d love to hear more. I didn’t even know that such a profession exists until I found the Katie Says site several years ago, but I STILL haven’t actually gone to see one. I imagine that pregnancy + childbirth + desk jobs impact us in more ways than we can imagine, and I think more women would benefits from learning more.
After I had my daughter, I asked my Ob/Gyn something along the lines of whether my uterus was fine because I had some discomfort — he said there was a little prolapse, but nothing to be concerned about (and nothing we could do about it as his only solution would be surgery, which wasn’t warranted). Needless to say, I suspect that I should have been referred to a pelvic floor specialist at the time, and it’s something I feel the need to do before getting pregnant again (especially now that I’m in the 35+ category). Even though you aren’t an expert on the subject, I think an article speaking to your experience and known benefits of seeing a pelvic floor specialist would make an awesome blog post! -a follower
What a great suggestion for a blog post! I had never heard of pelvic floor therapy when I had my first three (who are now 16, 13, and 11). In the last few years, I had heard of some women going to a pelvic floor therapist and I was intrigued.
After having Kierstyn, my chiropractor suggested it and I’m so glad she did! It ended up being such a positive thing and I feel like it helped my recovery be so much smoother and allowed me to get back to 100% much more quickly.
Like you acknowledged, I am not a medical professional or expert; I’m just a regular mom who experienced the benefits of pelvic floor therapy. But I wanted to answer some common questions I’ve gotten about pelvic floor therapy:
Who Should Go to a Pelvic Floor Therapist?
I believe pelvic floor therapy can be something helpful for all women, but I think it’s especially valuable after childbirth or if you are experiencing pain or discomfort on a regular basis. I’ve heard from so many women who just assume that pain, discomfort, or incontinence are to be expected — even years after childbirth.
As I learned from pelvic floor therapy, many of these things can be cleared up or at least somewhat resolved and improved through therapy. It will take time and consistency with exercises, but it can make such a big difference!
Where Do You Find a Pelvic Floor Therapist?
Like I mentioned above, my chiropractor referred me. However, you could just look online or ask friends for suggestions of a pelvic floor therapist. I’ve heard that there is a wide variety of them and some are really fantastic and some aren’t as helpful.
I would recommend calling their office and explaining your issues or concerns and asking for them to share how they would address things and what a treatment plan might look like. This might help you decide whether they are a good fit for you.
What Does a Pelvic Floor Therapist Do?
They are basically going to help you work on your pelvic floor muscles. Yes, this will probably involve learning how to do kegels correctly, but it will likely include a whole lot more!
My therapist did an initial exam that included both internal and external checks (expect that your first visit will be on the same level as a visit to your gynecologist) and asked a lot of questions. She discovered a number of things that were amiss — not only was I breathing and moving incorrectly in a lot of basic ways (she taught me simple things like the correct way to stand up and sit down and walk and hold a baby and how to breathe correctly while doing these things. Who knew that I was causing strain and stress on my body in these simple tasks?!). In addition, she found that I also had a lot of internal muscle tightness.
The first 6 or so sessions, we mostly focused on exercises to help loosen and strengthen the internal muscles. I also did a lot of kegels and breathing exercises. As I got stronger, we slowly moved to work on improving my overall strength and muscle tone when it came to my pelvic floor… and this involved a lot of exercises and breathing correctly while doing them.
How Much Does It Cost?
Because we had met our deductible for the year already (thanks to having a baby!), our insurance actually fully covered the cost of all of my visits. I know that’s not always the case, but I think it’s fairly common that it is covered by insurance or there is just a co-pay.
Is It Only for Postpartum?
While I think pelvic floor therapy is fantastic for postpartum (and I think every woman should consider it after having a baby), it’s not just for after you have a baby. All women — especially as they get older — could benefit from it.
Also, one thing I learned from my pelvic floor therapist was that you don’t have to do the therapy soon after you give birth for it to have benefits. She said we were likely fixing lots of things that never got resolved after my first three births! I’ve heard from women who have gone to a pelvic floor therapist years after having a baby and have still seen great results!
Have you ever done pelvic floor therapy before? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience! Also, if you disagree with anything I shared or have a different perspective or additional information, please let us know in the comments — especially if you are more knowledgeable than me and/or actually a pelvic floor therapist or medical professional!