I'm very excited to have our very first guest blogger today, our very own local specialist pelvic health physiotherapist Kate highlighting some not so pretty hard hitting postnatal facts. Brace yourself...but seriously we all know prevention is better than cure don't we and that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER right?
My name is Kate Walsh, I have worked as a specialist physiotherapist in the field of pelvic health on Wirral and Merseyside for 15 years. We are now delivering a service called the Mummy MOT which links post-natal recovery with return to functional fitness, including the holistic core restore exercise programme.
The Dirty Dozen – 12 Hard Facts of Childbirth and 3 reasons why all women should have post-natal rehab.
There’s a reason I do what I do – and they are the statistics below. I am not trying to scaremonger, simply stating facts, in the hope that women will take notice. It enrages me that the post-natal rehabilitation of women, their bladders, pelvic floor and other abdominal organs & functions are not more prevalent in this country.
We cannot let another generation of childbearing women suffer these terrible consequences when so many of the symptoms are controllable, improvable and even surmountable given the right treatment, exercises and advice.
Here are the Dirty Dozen top 12 shocking stats you need to know about life after childbirth…
- 50% of women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction. (Hagen et al 2004)
- 50% of women who have had children have some degree of symptomatic or asymptomatic pelvic organ prolapse. (Hagen & Stark 2011)
- In women with vaginal prolapse, 63% will experience urinary stress incontinence. (Bai et al 2002)
- Urinary incontinence during pregnancy nearly doubles the likelihood of urinary incontinence at three months post baby (regardless of delivery method, so Caesarean section or vaginal). (Eason et al 2004)
- Women who are incontinent before pregnancy are 5 times more likely to leak after birth than women who are continent before pregnancy. (Sampselle et al 1998)
- 52% of women with lower back pain during pregnancy were found to have pelvic floor dysfunction (Study by Pool-Goudzwaard et al 2005)
- a study of 1004 women with pelvic organ prolapse showed that straining on the loo is associated with anterior vaginal wall and perineal descent. (Kahn MA 2005)
- 52% of women with a pelvic floor dysfunction (stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) have a Diastasis Rectus Abdominis. (Spitznagle et al 2007)
- 66% of women with a diastasis recti abdominis have a pelvic floor support dysfunction (stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) (Spitznagle et al 2007)
- 45% have urinary incontinence 7 years post natally. (Wilson et al 2002)
- 36% have rectus diastasis abdominis 8 weeks after delivery. (Boissonnault 1988)
- Prevalence of stress or urge incontinence and intravaginal prolapse was 42% in women with one or more vaginal deliveries as opposed to 35% in women who had a C-section delivery. (Sakala 2006)
And my top three stats on why we should have post-natal rehab for every mum…
- Training post birth after experiencing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy using a specific stabilisation exercise programme, results showed significant reduction in pain and 50% reduction in disability. This tells us that specific stability exercises are useful for reducing pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy. (Stuge et al 2004)
- Retraining muscle after injury is essential as inhibited muscle does not automatically reactivate and retrain. (Stener & Petersen 1962)
- A survey of 115 postnatal women found that after 8 weeks the gap between the rectus muscle - the inter recti distance or recti diastasis - will not change without intervention. (Coldron 2008)
Specialist Physiotherapist Pelvic Health.