The experience of giving birth via Cesarean section (C-section) can bring both relief and questions for new mothers. While C-sections are often medically necessary and can be a lifesaver for both mother and baby, they also involve a surgical procedure that can impact the body in various ways. Many women think that since they have not had a vaginal delivery, their pelvic floor will not be affected. However, this is not the case.
Section 1: Understanding C-Section Deliveries
A Cesarean section is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby when vaginal delivery is not safe or possible. While C-sections can be lifesaving, they involve making an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus to safely deliver the baby. This surgical approach can have both immediate and long-term effects on the body, including the pelvic floor.
Section 2: The Pelvic Floor and Childbirth
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. These muscles provide essential support to the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. During childbirth, whether through vaginal delivery or C-section, the pelvic floor undergoes significant changes and may experience trauma.
For women who give birth vaginally, the pelvic floor muscles are stretched and sometimes injured during the passage of the baby through the birth canal. In the case of a C-section, the pelvic floor is not directly affected by the baby’s passage, but it can still experience stress due to the surgical procedure. The C-section incision goes through abdominal connective tissue that attaches to the pelvic floor muscles. Tension in the scar tissue can pull on the pelvic floor and cause tension in the area. This tension can lead to back pain, pain with intercourse and leakage.
Section 3: Do You Need Pelvic Floor Therapy After a C-Section?
The need for pelvic floor therapy after a C-section varies from person to person and depends on several factors, including:
- **Recovery**: C-section recovery typically involves healing the surgical incision and managing post-operative discomfort. In some cases, this recovery period may be relatively smooth, and individuals may not require additional therapy.
- **Pelvic Floor Symptoms**: Some women may experience pelvic floor symptoms after a C-section. These symptoms can include pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, bowel issues, or feelings of pelvic heaviness.
- **Pre-existing Conditions**: Individuals with pre-existing pelvic floor issues, such as pelvic pain or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, may benefit from therapy to address or prevent worsening of these conditions.
- **Posture and Core Strength**: C-sections can affect posture and core strength. If the scar has affected your posture- that can lead to back pain. Pelvic floor therapy can be valuable for rebuilding core strength and decreasing back pain.
- **Long-term Considerations**: Even if immediate post-C-section recovery is uneventful, some women may choose pelvic floor therapy as a proactive measure to maintain pelvic health and prevent issues that can arise later in life.
Section 4: Benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy After a C-Section
For those who choose to undergo pelvic floor therapy following a C-section, there are several potential benefits:
- **Pain Management**: Therapy can help manage any residual pain or discomfort related to the C-section incision and promote proper healing.
- **Pelvic Floor Health**: Pelvic floor therapy can address any pelvic floor issues or symptoms that may have arisen due to the C-section procedure.
- **Core Strengthening**: Therapy can focus on rebuilding core strength, which can be particularly helpful for women who wish to regain their physical fitness after childbirth.
- **Bladder and Bowel Function**: Pelvic floor therapy can improve bladder and bowel function, reducing the risk of urinary or fecal incontinence.
- **Posture and Alignment**: It can also address changes in posture and alignment that may occur following a C-section.
Section 5: Finding Pelvic Floor Therapy in Kansas City
If you’ve decided that pelvic floor therapy is the right choice for you after a C-section, it’s essential to find a qualified and experienced therapist in Kansas City. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- **Consult with Your Healthcare Provider**: Do you have an upcoming visit scheduled with your Dr? They may be willing to provide a referral to physical therapy for you. In the state of Missouri, it is not required to have drs orders to begin treatment. So you can just go ahead and get an appointment scheduled with a pelvic specialist.
- **Research Local Providers**: Look for licensed physical therapists in Kansas City who specialize in pelvic floor therapy. Ensure they have experience working with post-C-section patients. And (shameless plug) we at The Perfect Pelvis have years of experience treating this!
- **Schedule a Consultation**: Before committing to therapy, schedule a consultation with the therapist to discuss your specific needs and goals. Here at The Perfect Pelvis, we currently offer a screening for $57. This gives us a chance to determine if pelvic floor therapy is really the best option for you, and gives you a chance to get answers to all of your questions.
While not every woman who undergoes a C-section will require pelvic floor therapy, it is a valuable option for those who experience symptoms or wish to proactively address pelvic health concerns. The decision to pursue pelvic floor therapy after a C-section is a personal one, and it should be made in consultation with healthcare providers who can provide guidance based on your individual circumstances. At The Perfect Pelvis located outside of Kansas City in Lee’s Summit, there are qualified pelvic floor therapists who can help you navigate post-C-section recovery and promote long-term pelvic health and well-being.
Not sure if this would benefit you? Call us at (816)607-3747 to set up a $57 screening!