In speaking with many moms, I realize that there exists a huge misconception which goes something like this:
“my pain is just a normal part of my pregnancy” (this is misinformation), or
“my body doesn’t work so well since I’ve had the baby and I guess I have to live with it” (this is resignation).
Our beliefs will ultimately inform our actions. And what we choose to do or not do will affect our quality of life. As a women’s health physiotherapist, one of my jobs is to challenge the belief that sub-optimal functioning is OK. Your health and well-being is so very important – not only for you, but also for your family, and for the world. You were created to be extraordinary!
I love the look on their faces when my moms hear the truth: that there is hope and help, that they can get better, that they don’t have to move with pain, and that they can be free to enjoy their little ones and families. My practice philosophy is one that embraces proactivity instead of reactivity. Because I believe that preventative medicine is the best medicine, I recommend that every mom – pre and post-partum, in pain or not - get checked by a women’s health and pelvic floor physiotherapist. We are specially trained to assess and treat conditions that your doctor is not necessarily familiar with.
I love working with moms and helping them have a new and improved experience with their bodies. Here are some of the things I do to help pregnant moms:
· Address pain in the pelvis, pubic bone, groin, back, buttocks, and legs
· Address difficulties with everyday movement or while at work
· Address any leakage of urine or stool
· Assess the state of the pelvic floor or abdominal wall and strengthen if needed
· Address changes in posture and provide supports for optimizing alignment
· Prepare the whole body for labour and delivery (preventing tearing, moving through labour, etc)
· Embrace the changes their body is experiencing and be amazed by what their bodies can do!
When a mom comes to see me post-partum, we may take a look at:
· Preventing back pain and shoulder pain and improving muscular strength and endurance
· Mobilizing scar tissue from C-sections, tearing or episiotomies
· Addressing leaking of urine, gas or stool with activity
· Challenges with pelvic organ functioning (eg. problems emptying the bladder)
· Addressing painful sex or ongoing pain in the pelvic region
· Assessing for pelvic organ prolapse and dealing with pressure or heaviness in the perineum
· Knowing when it is safe to return to sports and fitness
· Assessing the function of the pelvic floor and abdominal wall – kegels are sometimes a no-no!
I will be a speaker at Baby Basics during July and I can’t wait to share more with all of you at momstown London! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
See you there!
Ibukun Afolabi is a pelvic health physiotherapist who loves working with moms and moms-to-be. She is expecting her first child in the fall and is the owner of LifeSpring Physiotherapy, a clinic which focuses on women’s health and wellness and also on pelvic health. To learn more about how physiotherapy can help during your pregnancy and beyond, please email Ibukun: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 226-377-3933.