Why do I need a Postpartum Assessment?
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Why Do I Need a Postpartum Assessment?
At your 6-week checkup your OBGYN ensures that all surgical scars are healing well, that the uterus has returned to its pre-pregnancy size and that your mental health is ok. This checkup also serves as your yearly gynecological exam. Depending on the doctor you may be asked about incontinence, hemorrhoids and constipation, but often these are topics you need to bring up. At this checkup most women are given the go ahead to resume normal activities such as sex, fitness, and all other activities of daily living.
While some women are able to return to normal activities symptom free, many are not. 25% of women experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth. This includes, but is not limited to, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency/urgency, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pain with intercourse, and abdominal pain. Not to mention the low back, hip, shoulder and neck pain that often results from taking care of a baby.
In a postpartum assessment we listen to your concerns and we provide you with strategies to start addressing whatever “doesn’t feel right” to you. You will never be told, “that’s normal,” “that’s just what happens after you have a baby” or “wait 6 weeks and it will get better on its own.” We perform a functional movement screen, postural evaluation, diastasis recti screen, and internal pelvic floor muscle exam to better understand how your body is recovering.
Even if your body feels pretty good at your 6-week checkup, we still recommend a postpartum assessment. Often times, symptoms start to pop up once you start challenging your body. It is not uncommon for a new mom to experience incontinence for the first time on her first postpartum run, or to have pain with sex even months after delivery.
Pregnancy and birth are beautiful events, but these events injure your tissues no matter what type of delivery you have. In the 4th trimester, or first 3 months after birth, it is important to let your body heal and recover. The postpartum assessment provides you with the tools you need to confidently navigate this period and return to your normal activities pain and symptom free.