Birth, to give life. Isn’t that the truth? Mothers give so much of themselves to their children. Often at the expense of their own health. The maternal support for women postpartum is oftentimes a quick 6 week check up. Which includes a brief survey asking how you’re feeling mentally, a run down of whether or not you’re still bleeding and then a swift nod and a “sounds great, be sure to take things at your own pace” then you’re out the door…280 days spent creating a life, while adjusting your own. Hours of labor, fear, blood, sweat and tears all funneled down to “take things at your own pace”. As you navigate life with a newborn it’s often overlooked that you are a newly born mother as well. Someone who needs guidance and support.
Pregnancy and birth are life altering seasons. You will never be who you were before and the generations of mothers before us were left to pull themselves up by their bra straps with the support derived from friends and family and knowledge passed from generation to generation. But finally the haze has lifted and issues that were written off as normal like; chronic back pain, pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence are being addressed, exposed as the root cause of the thousands of years of collective pain. A forced burden on the givers of life.
One small clinic in the heart of downtown Edmonds is on a mission to change motherhood. Body Motion Physical Therapy helps women and birthing people through fertility, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond. By addressing the pelvic floor. A muscle group that is often just associated with Kegel’s and overlooked by medical professionals. Pelvic Floor Therapy enables proper healing and strengthening to eliminate the need for surgeries, injections and medications. With the support of Pelvic Experts during pregnancy, birth injuries and the need for cesarean births is reduced. More importantly the pelvic floor muscles responsible for core strength, joint stability and bladder and bowel function are optimized and protected. Pelvic Floor therapy also helps reduce scar tissue and adhesions within these essential muscles to allow for them to function properly, we’ve seen an increase in elected and emergency c-sections and there are two possible reasons for this, many people hold the birth trauma from the generation before them, it is usually stated as “my mom had to have c-sections” so they believe that there is something innately different about their body that will change how they will need to birth. There is also something called “The Cascade Of Intervention” to explain; say you’re in labor with your first baby, you’re scared and struggling with the early contractions so you head to the hospital, well first babies usually take awhile and once you’re checked in the hospital has a standard timeline of how things will progress. Not dilated enough after several hours?, You’ll receive Pitocin. Not in active labor after “x” number of hours, Care providers may suggest a c-section. Once a person is checked in and in a place of stress and fear they rely on the providers around them. This Cascade of Intervention has increased the C-section rate in America to according to the CDC is 31%. People opting in for a c-section are often misinformed that a c-section is easier. Which we know is a myth that needs mending. C-sections are massive abdominal surgeries and cause intense scar tissue and recovery time. At Body Motion PT c-section clients often need more sessions postpartum to restore their pelvic floor and abdominal wall than clients who have a vaginal birth.
Dr. Allison Feldt, PT, DPT owner of Body Motion Physical Therapy and Best Selling Author of Restore Your Body After Kids The Secret To Avoiding Achy Joints and Peeing Your Pants As You Age founded Body Motion after working in home health for years supporting older generations, having seen first hand what neglecting the pelvic floor leads to in later life, her passion was ignited to protect the next generation of mothers by advocating for Pelvic Floor Therapy during pregnancy and postpartum. So that moms didn’t have to struggle with chronic pain. Is Grandma on her 3rd knee replacement, wearing Depends for the past 7 years? Did she also have 5 vaginal births? See the relationship there? The scary thing is that incontinence, joint pain and pelvic organ prolapse don’t necessarily wait until you’re “old” and gray. These issues are prevalent in our generation of mothers and birthing people and are being told by their elders that their issues are “normal”. Women’s health has been overlooked for decades but the time is now to bring maternal health to the forefront of healthcare and no longer allow mothers to be cast aside or have their issues belittled. No amount of estrogen cream or squats is going to restore your pelvic floor, there is work to be done and there are solutions available to end the generational birth trauma in America to empower women to take their birth and postpartum care into their own hands and come out the other side strong and healthy.
Author: Allison Feldt
"We Help Women Through Pregnancy And Beyond So They Can Live Active, Confident And Healthy Lives To Prevent Surgery And The Need For Medications."