When Will My Body Return to "Normal" Postpartum?

 
 
postpartum body recovery | healing after childbirth or c section.jpg

By Dr. Brooke Winder, PT, DPT, WCS

Mommas—be patient as your body heals postpartum.

Pregnancy involves 9 months of bodily changes—changes that enable you to grow a human being!

There are hormonal and mechanical changes in your body, in the natural way your rib cage needs to move out of the way as your baby takes up space. Your ligaments surrounding the pelvis are getting ready for labor and delivery. The laxity of your ligaments adjust to get ready for birth. You have the weight of the baby of your pelvic floor as you’re moving.

“Yes I’ve got rolls, I’ve got stretch marks, I have cellulite and so much more. This is my #mombod and I’m proud of it.” Source: @shreytilly

Pregnancy and delivery is so different for every woman, but we can say that in general, a vaginal delivery leads to a lot of stretching, and sometimes tearing. In the simplest terms: you’ve had very, very large stretching happen to that tissue. If you deliver via c-section, your body needs to recover from a major surgery and your pelvic floor still needs to readjust from 9 months of mechanical and hormonal changes.

Studies have suggested it can take 4-6 months for the pelvic floor to resume its full tissue quality postpartum. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to wait 6 months to do what you do. It’s just important to know that you can’t expect yourself to just jump right back into things easily right away.

You need healing time.

Every woman’s pregnancy and delivery is different, but it is recommended that every single woman postpartum have an assessment with a pelvic floor physical therapist just to know where you’re at, and see how that compares to your “baseline” you’re normal. Get some strategies to help you feel CONFIDENT in feeling like you’re not scared that you’re doing too much or too little.

Postpartum physical therapy can dramatically improve your recovery time after childbirth.

We can help you with:

  • Pain at the site of the episiotomy or perineal tear

  • Decreased sexual satisfaction

  • Delayed, decreased or diminished orgasm

  • Diastasis recti

  • Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse or orgasm)

  • Urinary and fecal incontinence

  • Uncontrolled flatulence

  • Clitoral, vaginal, rectal, pubic or tailbone pain

  • Pubic symphysis dehiscence (rupture)

  • Upper back and neck pain associated with breast-feeding

  • Upper extremity pain and numbness from child care

  • Low back and lower extremity pain

  • Decreased capacity for exercise

  • Suprapubic and/or abdominal pain

  • Incision scar pain and/or hypersensitivity

To learn more about postpartum (and prepartum if you are currently pregnant) physical therapy options, please visit:

 
“I’ve shared my body twice, but it was never taken from me, it was never lost. My body has been stretched and cut open, it suffered bursts and has been sewn back together but it’s always been my body. If anything my pregnancies have made me more in touch with my body.” Source:  @saracelinaa

“I’ve shared my body twice, but it was never taken from me, it was never lost. My body has been stretched and cut open, it suffered bursts and has been sewn back together but it’s always been my body. If anything my pregnancies have made me more in touch with my body.” Source: @saracelinaa


We want to encourage you to get evaluated by one of our outstanding physical therapists, and regain control of your life. Pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, back pain, tailbone pain—you name it—these conditions do not have to control your life. There is hope. Call us today to book an appointment for 1 of our 3 Southern California locations, or inquire about a virtual, online treatment session.


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Sarton Physical Therapy and its affiliates recommend that you contact your physician before participating in any physical therapy, exercise or fitness related programs. Learn More.