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Postpartum Rehabilitation: My Body Just Did What?! Pt2

Conditions that can create dysfunction during or after pregnancy:

Diastasis Recti

Separation of the Rectus Abdominis (your “six-pack” muscle) due to the growing uterus during pregnancy. Can cause trouble if it stays open more than 1.5in after birth

  • Symptoms: belly still appears pregnant 9+ months after giving birth, extra feeling of pressure in the pelvis, weak core and pelvic floor, back pain

  • Treatment: see a women's health or pelvic floor physical therapist, use a postpartum fitness program such as MuTu System, or BirthFit


Swollen veins occurring in the rectum and anus, caused by increased pressure and straining from pregnancy, vaginal birth, and constipation

  • Symptoms: swelling, painful bowel movements, streaks of blood in BMs, itchiness of the rectal area

  • Treatment: close diastasis recti to decrease pressure on the bowel. Release the muscles of the pelvic floor, using perineal massage, tuck’s witch hazel pads, epsom soak, or hemorrhoid cream to relieve symptoms

Tearing in the Perineum

Tearing of the tissue around the vaginal opening (the perineum) from a vaginal birth. Fissures are tears inside the vaginal canal from giving birth.

  • Symptoms: Swelling and soreness in the first few weeks after birth. Once the tears have healed, the remaining scar tissue can create tightness in the vaginal opening. Resulting in pain during intercourse

  • Treatment: Sitz bath, cold packs, witch hazel pads, self-massage inside and around the vaginal opening. See a pelvic floor specialist for physical therapy

Cesarean Scar Complaints

After a cesarean birth, the incision site can develop scar tissue that impedes the mobility and function of the surrounding tissue and organs.

  • Symptoms: scar tissue can affect bladder function, create lower back pain, and pain with intercourse

  • Treatment: self-massage the cesarean scar starting at 6-8 weeks postpartum, as soon as the incision has fully healed

Displaced Bladder

The bladder is squished or pushed to the side, its internal sphincter is torqued and cannot close completely

  • Symptoms: urinary incontinence, frequent urination, pain during intercourse

  • Treatment: see a pelvic floor physical therapist for visceral manipulation (gently guide things back into place manually)

Pelvic organ Prolapse

Bladder, bowel, or uterus is pushed into the vaginal canal from the pressure of pregnancy or vaginal birth.

  • Symptoms: pelvic pressure, feeling of a tampon not inserted incorrectly, difficulty with bowel movements, pain during intercourse

  • Treatment: close diastasis recti to reduce pressure in the pelvis, see a pelvic floor physical therapist to receive visceral manipulation

Our Favorite Pelvic Floor P.T.’s in Denver:

Institute for Birth Healing - Education, physical therapy for core and pelvic floor

Fertile Ground Wellness Center - Chiropractic Care, acupuncture, massage therapy, Maya abdominal massage, placenta encapsulation

Harmony’s Family Cooperative - Diastasis Recti rehab, massage therapy, nutritional counseling

Our Favorite Online Postpartum Fitness and Rehabilitation Programs:

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