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The Vital Role of OBGYN 6-Week Postpartum Check-up and Pelvic Floor OT Evaluation in Women's Health

Postpartum women carrying a baby

Congratulations on your journey to motherhood! As you navigate the postpartum period, it's crucial to prioritize your physical well-being. Two essential appointments that play a significant role in your recovery are the OBGYN 6-week postpartum check-up and the pelvic floor therapist evaluation. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of both appointments and highlight the key differences. As the owner of Pivotal Performance, a leading pelvic therapy clinic, we are here to guide you through this transformative phase.

Let's look at what takes place at the OBGYN 6-week Postpartum Check-up:

Your OBGYN is your primary healthcare provider throughout your pregnancy and beyond. The 6-week postpartum check-up is a vital milestone in your recovery journey. Here's why:

a. Physical Healing Assessment:

During this appointment, your OBGYN will evaluate your overall physical healing after childbirth. They will examine your incision site (if you had a C-section), check for any signs of infection, and ensure that your uterus is returning to its pre-pregnancy size.

b. Emotional Well-being:

Postpartum emotions can be overwhelming, and your OBGYN is there to support you. They will inquire about

your mental health, address any concerns or questions you may have and provide you with guidance on postpartum depression or anxiety if needed.

c. Contraception and Family Planning:

Discussing contraception options is an essential part of the 6-week postpartum check-up. Your OBGYN will guide you on birth control methods suitable for your lifestyle and future family planning goals.

After your check, your OBGYN will inform you that you have passed all your examinations and are now cleared to return to exercises and all other normal tasks.

But, Here is the thing, Did anyone ask you to perform any exercises to evaluate if you are physically ready to jump right it? Did any part of the examination take place off the examination table? So how do you know where to start? This is why OBGYN clearance may not be enough. You definitely should get an evaluation performed by a pelvic floor Occupational or Physical therapist. As a pelvic floor OT/PT, we are committed to providing comprehensive postpartum care that goes beyond addressing pelvic floor issues. In addition to evaluating pelvic floor function, we also focus on assessing body mechanics, intraabdominal pressure system management, and muscle strength and weakness.

In this blog post, we will highlight the importance of a 6-week pelvic floor evaluation. There is so much information to offload, so here goes nothing. I have divided this blog into some of the most important areas we assess at a 6-week pelvic floor therapy appointment.

A snapshot picture of a comprehensive pelvic OT evaluation:

Evaluating Body Mechanics:

a. Posture Assessment:

During the 6-week postpartum evaluation, we assess your posture to identify any imbalances or misalignments that may have developed during pregnancy and childbirth. Poor posture can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction and other musculoskeletal issues. By addressing and correcting these imbalances, we can help optimize your recovery and prevent future complications.

b. Movement Analysis:

We analyze your movement patterns to identify any compensations or limitations that may be affecting your overall function. This includes observing how you walk, sit, stand, and perform daily activities. By understanding your movement mechanics, we can develop a personalized treatment plan to improve your mobility and reduce the risk of injury.

Intraabdominal Pressure System Management:

c. Diaphragmatic Breathing Assessment:

We assess your ability to engage in diaphragmatic breathing, which plays a crucial role in managing intraabdominal pressure. Proper breathing techniques can help stabilize the core, support the pelvic floor, and prevent issues such as pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence. We provide guidance and exercises to help you optimize your breathing patterns and enhance core stability.

d. Functional Movement Assessment:

We evaluate how you manage intraabdominal pressure during functional movements such as lifting, carrying, or bending. By teaching you proper techniques and strategies to manage pressure, we can minimize the strain on your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, reducing the risk of injury and promoting optimal recovery.

therapist examined women

Assessing Muscle Strength and Weakness:

e. Pelvic Floor Muscle Assessment:

We assess the strength, endurance, and coordination of your pelvic floor muscles. This evaluation helps us identify any weaknesses or imbalances that may contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. Based on the assessment results, we develop a targeted exercise program to strengthen and rehabilitate your pelvic floor muscles.

Abdominal assessment

f. Core Muscle Assessment:

In addition to the pelvic floor, we evaluate the strength and function of your core muscles, including the deep abdominal muscles, back muscles, and hip muscles. Weakness or imbalances in these muscles can affect your overall stability and contribute to postpartum issues such as back pain or pelvic instability. We design exercises and techniques to restore core strength and stability, promoting optimal recovery and preventing future complications.

g. Pelvic Floor Assessment:

Childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, or prolapse. A pelvic floor therapist will assess the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles, identify any imbalances, and create a tailored treatment plan to address your specific needs.

h. Restoring Core Stability:

Postpartum, your core muscles may require rehabilitation to regain strength and stability. We assess all postpartum moms regardless of delivery style for diastasis recti. We assess your ability to manage pressure. How? by checking your rib mobility, diaphragm, and breathing techniques. A pelvic floor therapist will guide you through exercises and techniques to restore core function, helping you regain control and prevent future complications.

i. Addressing Sexual Health Concerns:

Sexual health is an integral part of your overall well-being. A pelvic floor therapist can address any concerns you may have regarding pain during intercourse, decreased libido, or other postpartum-related sexual issues. They will provide guidance and therapeutic interventions to enhance your sexual well-being.

holding hands

The OBGYN 6-week postpartum check-up and the pelvic floor therapist evaluation are both essential components of your postpartum care. While your OBGYN focuses on your overall physical healing and emotional well-being, a pelvic floor therapist specializes in addressing pelvic floor issues and restoring core stability. By prioritizing both appointments, you can ensure a smoother recovery and enhance your long-term health. We are missing a big part of women's health when we are not also including pelvic floor therapy in each woman's plan of care. We have to change the narrative and make pelvic floor therapy a standard of care in women's health. The relationship between a pelvic floor OT/PT and OBGYN is the perfect synergy for all our pregnant and postpartum mammas. I mean this dynamic duo and the ultimate relationship in women's health. You can help this movement by sharing this blog, telling a friend about Pelvic floor OT/PT, and sharing your experience with your OB/GYN.

At Pivotal Performance, our 6-week postpartum evaluation goes beyond addressing pelvic floor issues. We prioritize assessing body mechanics, intraabdominal pressure system management, and muscle strength and weakness. By evaluating these aspects, we can develop a personalized treatment plan to optimize your recovery, enhance your overall function, and prevent future complications. Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive postpartum evaluation and take the first step towards a stronger, healthier postpartum journey.


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