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What is Postpartum Rehab?

Many birthing people have never heard of postpartum rehab, so what is it?

Postpartum rehab is physical therapy for those who have given birth. Just like someone who had a surgery or an illness or injury gets therapy, so should everyone who gave birth.

Birth is not necessarily an injury, but many physiological changes take place and the body takes time to heal.

In today's busy and demanding society, every birthing person should receive postpartum therapy.

They should have at least one appointment with a postpartum therapy specialist to address any weaknesses, aches and pains and things that didn't return to baseline in an expected time frame. 6 weeks is not the end of postpartum healing, it is still very early, and your obstetrician is not a rehab specialist, they are a doctor to ensure your pregnancy and birth are medically safe.

Not every birthing person will have pelvic floor problems or diastasis recti that doesn't heal, but some will. Some will have back, neck or hip pain just from the demands of caring for a newborn. Many people are told it's normal to have a belly pooch or to pee your pants after birthing a child. While having a flat belly is not necessarily expected postpartum, but having abdominal muscles that are strong should be expected. And peeing your pants as an adult is never normal and should never have to be accepted as normal. Pelvic floor therapy can always help with that.

Many obstetricians are not screening for who may need postpartum rehab, especially when they only see you once at 6 weeks postpartum. That is still very early in the postpartum healing phase and often that visit is brief. You may need to advocate for yourself and ask for postpartum rehab, or find a physical therapist yourself.

If there isn't one who is accessible to you, many therapists now offer virtual visits or online programs so more people have access. Do your research because I'm sure there is help for you and you don't have to suffer.

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