Did you know 21%, or 1 in 5 deliveries, are C-sections according to the World Health Organization? This number is estimated to increase to 29% in 2030. In the United States, 39% of deliveries, or 1 in 3, are C-sections.
Many women believe because they have not had a vaginal delivery they do not need to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. I am here to tell you, any woman, regardless of vaginal or c-section delivery should be seen 6 weeks postpartum by a pelvic floor specialist. Here is why:
Women after a c-section delivery are still at risk for pelvic floor dysfunction. This is because regardless of the delivery mechanism, a pregnancy still occurred. We know that pregnancy creates an increased pressure or load on the pelvic floor while carrying a baby for 9 months. This added stress can cause weakness or pain in the pelvic floor muscles leading to symptoms such as urinary leakage, pain with intercourse, or pelvic organ prolapse. Pregnancy also puts us at risk for a diastasis recti, or a separation of the rectus abdominus (the 6 pack muscles), to make room for the growing baby.
A cesarean section is a major abdominal surgery, and therefore your healing should be treated as such. The incision made to safely deliver your baby must go through several layers of tissue including the skin, muscle, fascia, and uterus. Pelvic Physical Therapy can help optimize your healing process through your c-section recovery.
Scar tissue from your c-section can create some pain, discomfort, and decreased mobility of your abdominal wall. Although your incision heals within a few weeks, scar tissue continues to form. Through physical therapy you can be given the tools to help reduce pouching or puckering of the scar tissue, as well as assist with retraining the abdominal muscles.
All mamas should be seen by a physical therapist after their delivery. If you or someone you know had a c-section tell them to give us a call at Legacy Physical Therapy! We would love to help you out!