There are so many reasons why childbirth is considered a miracle.
One miracle is in reference to the creation of the baby. The other miracle is the evolution of the female body throughout the process of bearing a child.
The female body experiences massive shifts in hormone and structure that nourishes, makes space for, and provides passageway for birthing a child. With these shifts, a lot of women feel that they have a ‘new body’ postpartum, and a lot of women aren’t always satisfied with these changes.
It is incredibly common for women to experience urinary incontinence, pain with intimacy, low back pain and pelvic pain after giving birth. Before, this was touted as something that women just have to deal with as a byproduct of being a childbearing woman.
Now we know this isn’t true. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can address these common issues helping you overcome both pain and leakage. But before that, let’s talk about what actually happens to your body that can create these common issues postpartum.
How does childbirth affect your pelvic floor?
Childbirth can have a significant impact on the pelvic floor muscles, which are responsible for supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum. The strain of labor and delivery can cause these muscles to weaken or even tear, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In fact, up to 50% of women experience some degree of pelvic floor dysfunction after giving birth.
In addition to structural changes in the body that can stretch, weaken or tear the muscles and ligaments that support the health and function of your pelvic floor, hormonal shifts that happen throughout childbearing can have an impact.
Relaxin is a hormone that is produced during pregnancy and helps to loosen the ligaments in the pelvis, allowing for easier delivery of the baby. This is helpful when it comes to prepping your body for delivery, but it can also cause instability and excessive joint motion in your pelvis, resulting in pelvic pain and difficulty performing certain movements. You may also experience changes in posture and muscle imbalances during pregnancy. After childbirth, relaxin levels decrease rapidly, but it can still have an impact on the body for several months. When your pelvic floor muscles remain too weak or too tight postpartum, it can cause annoying symptoms, such as incontinence, discomfort, and even pain. But pelvic floor therapy can help.
One effect of relaxin after childbirth is that it can cause joint laxity, which can lead to increased risk of injury or strain. This can be particularly problematic for women who are breastfeeding or carrying their babies frequently. Additionally, relaxin can contribute to postpartum hair loss by affecting hair growth cycles. It may also play a role in postpartum depression, although more research is needed to fully understand this relationship.
Overall, while relaxin levels return to normal after childbirth, its effects on the body can persist for some time and should be taken into consideration when planning postpartum care.
It is important to understand that your body has been adjusting its environment to host another living being. These adjustments place strain on your body and can have difficulty adjusting back on its own.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help. Our therapists can assess your pelvic floor structure, gain an understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses are to bring your whole body back to harmony postpartum
Call us today for a free consultation. We can help.