You Don’t Have To Pee Your Pants, Part 2
Pelvic Floor Health With Dr. Justine Veloza, DPT
Why are we told that peeing our pants after birth is normal?
Why are we led to believe that we just have to live with it?
In part two of this blog series, we talk with Dr. Justine Veloza, founder of FitMomsPT, all about pelvic floor health (you can read part one here).
Do you find that the longer someone waits to get help, the worse the issue gets?
“Not always, I think I kind of depends on the person to be honest and what the situation is. I think some, for some cases it just won’t get better.
“It’ll sort of be at this maintenance state. And for some, it may get worse. Plus, as you know, your child is getting bigger and older, you’re going to be putting different demands on your body. So that could affect things in different ways.
“So you might feel like you’re kind of status quo, but then as the child reaches a different age or development level, and you realize some other thing that might not have been noticed before.
“I treated one postpartum mom, she had come to me and she was having this terrible rib and back pain and she was just breastfeeding her child. And she would tell me, you know, in the middle of the night, she’d wake up and ‘I’m just always in this weird, awkward position. Every time I feed her I get in this position just cause it’s more comfortable for me and then I can just fall asleep or whatnot.’
“But you know, we worked with her for a few visits and just addressing her posture was huge! And going over different things like positioning while breastfeeding, and how to lie or how to get out of a posture when you’ve been in it for so long, that kind of thing. The posture is huge!
“If you were going to give any advice to your patients, breathing, breathing, breathing, breathing is where it is at. Throw that in there and you can’t go wrong teaching them.
“Because sometimes little small tweaks to a parents breathing can be helpful – for example, like exhaling on exertion. But for some moms, it might be inhale on that most exerting part, or it might be inhale and hold your breath. We really work with everyone on an individual basis. So it’s hard because you can’t give that blanket information because everybody is different.
“Especially as moms, we know we can’t always be perfect in our mechanics every single time. Picking up your kids , etc. But we can train parents in different ways and work with the breath and work with the different postures and movements and we can make it happen.”
So what does it look like when a parent works with you?
What does your general care plan look like, and what does the process look like?
“Well, obviously it would start with a very detailed history and assessment basically going through how the pregnancy was and any past medical history, all that good stuff. And then we would basically do a full body assessment. So wherever the pain or dysfunction area is, we always look above and below it, looking at how they’re moving, their strength, their flexibility, the basic physical therapy evaluation. Looking at the body as a whole is really going to help figure out what are those important players that we need to address as well.
“Everyone’s going to get their own individualized program. We’ll probably talk lots about breathing, make sure they’re doing it the right way. We talk about how to use their body mechanics and be safe with what they’re doing. And then when appropriate, you know, we’ll often try to do an internal exam, obviously as long as the patient is comfortable with it, and after some discussion about what the benefits are.
“The internal pelvic exam can really give us some good feedback. We can learn more about how well those pelvic floor muscles are working, are they able to shorten and contract and lengthen? Are they able to push out and extend a little bit too?
“We want to make sure that you’re going through the whole full range of motion that’s available. Like any other muscle in the body. We would want to make sure it can move and contract and relax. So that can be super beneficial. And then we create an individualized program for that person based on where their pain is, what their symptoms are and what their goals are, etc.
“I’m taking a continuing education course right now with PT guru Julie Wiebe. And she told us of this case that she’s treating a patient maybe now maybe a while ago, about a patient who for 20 years had complained of pain throughout her whole body. She had shoulder pain, neck pain, jaw pain, back pain, etc. and seen numerous health professionals. Come to find out she actually had a pelvic organ prolapse that was hanging out of her body for 20 years. And she didn’t know! No one made the connection.
“This is why it’s so important that if you’re having pain, don’t let anyone dismiss it.”
“This has been so amazing, I am so happy that providers like you are out there helping new parents live life easier and more comfortable!
Looking for more support with all things pregnancy and baby? Get it here.
See you next time!