I remember that day sitting in my doctor’s office. His final words: “Don’t let them do anything that would hurt you!” 4 months pregnant, you would think I was signing up for something super risky that would potentially hurt me or my baby. The punch line:
I had back pain and asked him to write me a prescription for physical therapy.
This is the true story of my first pregnancy, 13 years ago.
I gave him a weak smile and walked out the door. I went to see a colleague for help (since you can’t treat yourself no matter how hard you try). Somehow, I missed acting on the sad reality of this story - most Ob/Gyns do not know what we do as physical therapists, do not know that exercise and education are two proven interventions for pregnancy-related back pain and do not ever think about referring someone to physical therapy. Fortunately, the laws have changed, at least here in Georgia, and you can see a physical therapist without a prescription. The problem that remains is how do people learn this is even an option? Most of my patients tell me that they didn’t even know someone like me existed. There are hundreds of articles on Kegels, insertable trainers that connect to an app, abdominal braces, programs to cure diastasis recti and even special underwear so you can work out and it will collect your urine you leaked…. But nobody knows that physical therapy can help? Women are sitting at home, pregnant and hurting, or caring for newborns and scared they will always have to wear a pad, or feel like their bladder is falling out, or not knowing what exercises they can do or how to get back in shape. And doctors are telling them to just do sit ups, or have surgery, or go back to what they were doing with no guidance, no support and even worse, thinking that physical therapy could hurt them.
What if every woman, after giving birth, was able to consult with a physical therapist before her discharge home from the hospital? I like to dream big!
What if she could see a PT before delivery and have your questions answered? Or learn ways to help with her pain?
What if she could follow up after delivery to address her concerns about incontinence, diastasis recti, prolapse or even just how to get back to life?
The good news is – SHE CAN! At Catalyst Physical Therapy, we offer pre- and post-natal consultations and packages designed to each woman’s individual need. From initial consultations to year-long programs, we can build a recovery plan to address whatever your needs and schedules allow. We understand life as a busy mom because we ARE moms. Let us help you design the best plan for you.
Stay tuned for part 2... my postpartum story.