Postpartum constipation is a common issue experienced by many women after giving birth. Physical therapy can provide effective interventions and strategies to manage and alleviate postpartum constipation. Here’s how physical therapy can help:
- Education and lifestyle modifications: A physical therapist can provide education on factors that contribute to postpartum constipation, such as changes in hormone levels, decreased physical activity, and inadequate fluid intake. They can offer guidance on dietary adjustments, including increasing fiber intake and recommending appropriate hydration levels.
- Pelvic floor muscle relaxation: In some cases, postpartum constipation can be related to excessive tension or tightness in the pelvic floor muscles. A physical therapist can teach relaxation techniques and exercises to release tension in the pelvic floor muscles, which can improve bowel movement and reduce discomfort.
- Breathing exercises: Deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help stimulate the digestive system, improve bowel motility, and encourage regular bowel movements. A physical therapist can teach and guide individuals through these techniques.
- Manual therapy techniques: Physical therapists trained in pelvic health may use manual therapy techniques, such as gentle abdominal massage or myofascial release, to help relieve constipation by improving bowel mobility and decreasing abdominal tension.
- Posture and body mechanics education: Maintaining proper posture and body mechanics during bowel movements is important for efficient elimination. Physical therapists can provide guidance on optimal positioning and techniques to minimize strain and promote effective bowel movements.
- Exercise and physical activity: Physical activity can help stimulate bowel function and improve digestion. A physical therapist can recommend appropriate postpartum exercises and gradually reintroduce physical activity to support bowel regularity.
- Behavioral techniques: Physical therapists can provide strategies such as establishing a consistent bowel routine, creating a relaxing environment during bowel movements, and addressing any psychological factors that may contribute to constipation.
Our skilled team of pelvic floor physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.