Why You Should See A Women’s Health Physiotherapist

Why You Should See A Women's Health Physiotherapist | The Mum Physio

This article was written for Forbes as part of Women’s Health Week.  It discusses the importance of seeing a women’s health physiotherapist during pregnancy and postpartum. My client was kind enough to share her story about her birth injury, her experience with the NHS physiotherapist, her symptoms and her experience with me – The Mum Physio.

My Birth Injury

“As a first-time mother, one of my biggest fears during pregnancy was experiencing a tear during childbirth. I did everything in my power to prevent this, except for one crucial step—I didn’t see a physiotherapist during pregnancy. Unfortunately, despite my efforts, I suffered a fourth-degree tear during birth. There were no apparent risk factors: my baby was of average weight, I had a home birth without pain relief, and I followed all the advice to minimize the risk of tearing. It was a freak accident that I worked hard to avoid.”

The NHS Physio Experience

“Following standard protocol for severe tears, I was referred to an NHS physiotherapist. I was advised to download the NHS Squeezy app, but my physiotherapy appointments were conducted over the phone, and I was never physically examined. This isn’t a criticism of the NHS—they are incredibly stretched, and women’s health is significantly underfunded. However, telling someone to do Kegels without assessing their problem is inadequate. This advice did not suit my symptoms at all.”

Persistent Symptoms

“Before giving birth, I was very fit and active and eager to return to running. Eighteen months postpartum, I signed up for a 10km run, which significantly worsened my symptoms. I experienced involuntary passing of wind and stress incontinence. My core strength and pelvic floor were not ready for the high impact of running.”

Finding the Right Physio

“After my 10km run, I knew something had to change. I reached out to Beth from The Mum Physio. Over a year of working with her, I learned that I had a tight pelvic floor with little to no movement. Beth explained that the pelvic floor is like an elevator moving through the floors of a building, and mine was stuck on the top floor. This was why the NHS’s advice to squeeze more was ineffective. Instead, I needed to relax my pelvic floor.”

The Transformation

“Throughout my sessions with Beth, my goals evolved. I passed my return-to-running assessment, no longer involuntarily passed wind, and my bowel and incontinence issues significantly improved. Beth truly changed my life. I regained my confidence, returned to exercise, and felt more in tune with my body.

Beth’s approach includes assessing pelvic floor function, pelvic alignment, functional strength, potential diastasis, nutrition, and hormones. I was fortunate to afford private treatment, using Forbes-funded UK Healthcare for my physio sessions.”

A Word from Beth – Women’s Health Pelvic Specialist

It’s disheartening to see many women endure preventable issues due to a lack of awareness and support. Many women feel embarrassed about symptoms like leaking urine or faeces and do not seek help. Common narratives like “you’ve had kids, your bladder will never be the same” are absolute rubbish. Women deserve better and should seek pelvic health support at every stage of womanhood.

The Importance of Proactive Care

Proactive care is crucial. The NHS often provides reactive care due to being overstretched, which means many women’s symptoms worsen before they receive help. 

Antenatal MOT

An assessment of your posture, pelvis, spine, abdominal muscles, diaphragm, and pelvic floor. Clients receive a personalized plan for bladder and bowel health, tips to avoid and manage prolapse, and optimise birth.

Mummy MOT

A 6-8 weeks postpartum check, offering a personalized discussion about your birthing experience and an assessment of your posture, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles. This ensures you get the TLC you deserve to kick-start your postpartum recovery.

Seeking Help

If you experience any of the following symptoms, consider booking an appointment with a pelvic health specialist:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Urgency or Urge Incontinence
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Overactive Bladder
  • Faecal Urgency or Incontinence
  • Difficulty Controlling Wind
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Rehabilitation after Gynecological Surgery
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Vulvodynia or Vaginal Pain
  • Vaginismus
  • Pelvic Floor Weakness or Tightness
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Bladder Pain Syndrome / Interstitial Cystitis

Don’t hesitate to seek help. Your health and well-being are paramount. 

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