Postpartum Strong from the Inside Out
What I Wish I Had Known About My Body Before Giving Birth
by Jane Broadbent
Below is a guest post from Jane Broadbent about her postpartum experience and how physical therapist, Dr. Cora Huitt helped her recover from common symptoms women have after giving birth.
I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Cora while photographing your beautiful family, I told her I had a newborn and she was able to give me so many tips to help my body recover, I was very blessed to meet her when I did. Below is a video explaining what being postpartum strong means. Enjoy!
Standing in my kitchen, I could feel it coming but could do nothing to stop it. My
muscles were not responding. It was two in the morning, I had not slept in days, my
newborn was sobbing, and all I could do was stand there as urine streamed down
my leg, puddling at my feet. Leaving my pee-soaked clothes in a heap, I held my new
son and we sobbed together. I felt like a failure. Not only did I not know how to
soothe this sweet new life, I could not even control my own body.
I had been prepared for my body to change during pregnancy. It was my second
child, so I felt like I knew what I was doing. Unfortunately, despite running races
and feeling strong on the outside, I had no idea how weak my body really was.
While being pregnant, I suddenly lost the ability to hold my urine. The more my
child grew, the more I peed. However, I was convinced once I gave birth it would
“clear up”. Only it didn’t. Between my pads and my son’s diapers I don’t know who
was getting changed more. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t play with my four year old, I
couldn’t go anywhere without knowing where the bathroom was.
I was desperate for someone to fix me! I needed my body back and my family
needed me back. Thankfully, I learned about a physical therapy I never knew
existed. Women’s health physical therapy, or pelvic floor physical therapy,
specializes in treating pelvic floor issues ranging from prolapsed organs, pelvic pain
incontinence, and postpartum care. I found my way into an exam room at Women’s
Health Physical Therapy. My therapist was Dr. Cora Huitt, a women’s health
specialist. With her help and guidance, I learned that birth can injure your pelvic
floor muscles the same way a fall can injure your neck muscles. The difference
is you don’t see your pelvic floor muscles so you need to be able to recognize
the symptoms. Incontinence is a symptom of weakened or damaged pelvic floor
I had felt like I had lost control and was worried I’d be dealing with these problems
the rest of my life. The worst part was my issues were preventing me from being
the mother and wife I wanted to be. But, with therapy I healed. I got my life back.
I hope more women learn about the power of women’s health physical therapy
because there is hope for recovery. Relief is possible after rehabilitation. As
mothers, we learn the importance of being strong. From my women’s health
physical therapist I learned how to be make my postpartum body strong from
the inside out. If you have just had a baby, I urge you to schedule a postpartum
evaluation with a women’s health physical therapist in your area to make sure your
body is postpartum strong.