New mothers have a lot to think about when taking care of a new baby. However, prior to returning to exercise, intercourse or if you are experience uncomfortable symptoms like leaking with laughter or pelvic pain, a women’s health post-natal assessment is beneficial to ensure you can get back to the activities you enjoy with confidence.
What is a Post-natal Assessment?
Our post natal assessment is designed to ensure a healthy, safe, and fast recovery following delivery. If you have had a vaginal delivery or caesarean it is highly recommended to get assessed. During your consult, your Women’s Health Physio will take a thorough history of your birth including duration of labour, babies’ weight, and any symptoms you might be experiencing. This subjective history helps us understand the best way to treat your pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, and get you back to exercise and activities as soon as possible.
A Post-Natal assessment also includes an objective component where we measure the degree of abdominal separation and assess scar healing for caesareans. Looking at abdominal separation we check if you can correctly activate your core muscles without “doming” so we can put together an exercise program that suits your needs. See our other blog about exercise after birth baby for more information.
The appointment also includes a pelvic floor assessment to check for any muscular avulsion, organ prolapse and pelvic floor strength. How strong your pelvic floor is and your ability to contract will significantly impact your return to exercise. Many women find themselves leaking after birth while exercise with no clear understanding on how to prevent this.
Following your assessment, you and your Women’s Health Physio will create a plan suited to your needs. This may include pelvic floor strengthening, down training pelvic floor over activity, modifying bladder habits and addressing any pelvic pain. We also work with you to create an exercise program to help with abdominal strength and separation. The best time for your post-natal check is between 6-8 weeks following birth when your bleeding has ceased.
If you are approaching 6 weeks following the birth of your baby, book in for a Post-Natal Assessment with Meredith, our Women’s Health Physio. You are welcome to bring your baby along!