Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Jessica came to see us when she was around 30 weeks pregnant. She was experiencing back pain during pregnancy. She had tried massage therapy for her back, but was still experiencing back pain. She had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) so she also used Humira to manage her pain. She also expressed that she wanted to give birth without medications. This was her third pregnancy and with her daughter, her second baby, she went into anaphylactic shock as a response to an epidural. She also wanted to prevent perineal tearing with this birth. With her first baby, she had a second degree tear and with her second, she had an episiotomy.
In her first session, we discussed her fears surrounding labor, current stressors, sleep, diet, and movement. I completed a movement assessment which showed limitations in her hips, low back, and upper back. I also assessed her pelvic floor and noted tight muscles and scar tissue within the pelvic floor. I began teaching her how to push, helping her learn what opening and relaxing her pelvic floor muscles felt like. She did really well with manual techniques on the pelvic floor and using somatic tools with her voice to relax and lengthen the pelvic floor.
In her second session, we started the birth coaching portion of the labor prep program, specifically working through possible triggers in labor. We identified that due to past birth trauma and trauma from a motor vehicle accident, triggers for her were: things in her body (medications, IV’s, etc.), a c-section, and labor induction. We used our fear resilience technique to help her determine how her body responded to the triggers, ways to change her body’s response, and steps to take to minimize the trigger.
Our sessions during pregnancy were cut short because Jessica had complications from her Rheumatoid Arthritis and was hospitalized.
Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Jessica came back to see us at 4 weeks postpartum. Despite her complications from RA, she was able to go into labor without induction. She only pushed for 40 minutes and felt like she redeemed her other 2 births. She credits the fear work we did for this. At this point, she was experiencing neck, shoulder, and low back pain.
After 6 sessions, Jessica's pain is down significantly. She has been able to use less medications and use movement and exercise more to manage her pain.
We are still working with Jessica to calm her pain. Her pain is chronic, so it may take more time for her to feel in complete control of her pain. She has responded really well to intuitive myofascial release and identifying how certain stressors and expectations in her life are contributing to pain. Her core continues to get more coordinated and her muscles continue to get stronger.
Jessica is a great example of what we do this work. One of our missions is to empower moms with past trauma (birth and otherwise) to improve their relationship with their bodies, empower their minds, and prevent birth trauma from happening. Jessica was super gracious to allow us to share her story. We know that the work we did together during pregnancy helped her to heal after 2 births that did not go as planned.
If this story resonated with you, please share it with another mom. And if you're ready to prevent perineal tearing, prevent birth trauma, or calm hip pain during pregnancy or back pain during pregnancy or postpartum, book a free consultation with us to learn what the first best step is to take to reach your goals.