When I tell people that I specialize in pelvic floor physical therapy, the most common response (other than a blank stare) is “Oh, so you work with postpartum moms mostly?” The reality is that I work with people all across the age and gender spectrums, but postpartum people are a pretty logical assumption! Pregnancy and birth are Major Life Events for the pelvic floor, and can be a source of trauma or injury to those tissues.
So why am I mostly seeing these patients only after this Major Life Event occurs?
The more we know about our bodies and what the birth experience might look like, the more proactive we can be in setting ourselves up for success. Don’t get me wrong, the phrase “We make plans and the gods laugh” has never been more true than in the birthing process, but knowing what we want and knowing what the different possibilities are is a huge factor in empowering birthing people. And empowered people are happier people. And happier people are healthier people.
Preparation for Birth Sessions can be used to address questions that pregnant people or their partners have about the birthing process. Some points we may want to touch on are:
- What do you envision your birth experience to be? Do you have any goals or boundaries that you want to work with?
- What is the pelvic floor?
- How is it affected by pregnancy, vaginal birth, or cesarean birth?
- How can you prepare your body for birth? What positions can be used in labor to promote an easier birth?
- How can your partner play an active role in easing your birth experience?
- What can you expect from your body immediately postpartum?
Are You a Doula?
I have gone through a doula training specifically for pelvic floor physical therapists, but have not gone through the full process of doula certification. I do not generally assist at births, but do hope to help prepare birthing people and their partners ahead of time to be more confident and empowered in their birthing journeys.