Postpartum repair is the physical healing process after childbirth. It may take some time for women to feel like their pre-baby selves, but there are ways that new mothers can help the body heal faster.
Weak muscles and pelvic floor dysfunction are common after giving birth, but these symptoms can be reduced or eliminated with proper care. This is where physical therapy comes in.
Stretching involves placing particular muscle groups into positions that lengthen, or elongate, the muscles and other soft tissues. Stretching is typically divided into two categories: static and dynamic. Static stretching requires the patient to hold a specific position for an extended period of time (often more than 30 seconds). Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, incorporates movement into the exercise to increase range of motion.
When performing a static stretch, the patient should aim to feel tension in the muscles without pain. The reason for this is that the body’s safety mechanism, known as the stretch reflex, is activated when a muscle is stretched too hard or to the point of pain. The stretch reflex is designed to protect the muscles and tendons from injury by contracting them in response to stretching.
The proprioceptors that are activated during stretching are located within the tendons of the muscles. These include the muscle spindles and golgi tendon organ. The muscle spindles are placed parallel to the extrafusal fibers of the muscles while the golgi tendon organ is located close to the end of each muscle fiber. Both of these receptors are responsible for detecting changes in the length and force of muscles.
To help reduce dyspareunia, women should try to perform stretches that target the perineum and other muscles of the pelvic floor. They should also ice the area for the first couple of hours after delivery to decrease swelling and pain. It is also helpful to use a warm sitz bath (soaking the pelvic area in water) and spray hemorrhoid cream that contains lidocaine.
Massage is a great postpartum recovery technique for new mothers. It reduces swelling, eases body pains, and improves blood circulation. A soothing massage also stimulates lymphatic drainage to eliminate excess fluids from the body. Massage therapy can include techniques such as Swedish, foot reflexology, and acupressure. Swedish massage is a technique that uses long stroking and kneading movements to relax the muscles, as well as encourage blood flow. It can also include stretching and breathing exercises that soothe the abdominal and back areas of the body.
Postpartum massage can also relieve swollen feet and ankles. It can also unclog milk ducts in the breast to ease breastfeeding pains and prevent mastitis. Breast massaging can release oxytocin, which is a natural hormone that helps the mother relax and opens up blocked ducts to allow the flow of milk. It can also help alleviate engorgement and prevent postpartum depression.
Studies have shown that infants who receive regular massage from their mothers tend to gain weight more quickly than babies who don’t receive massages. It also increases the bond between mother and baby, and can lower stress levels in both the mother and child. Massaging the abdomen and perineal area regularly can also reduce the likelihood of developing a perineal tear. This is especially important for women who have had a C-section or an episiotomy.
Baths are a great way to soothe and relax sore muscles. When the body’s temperature is elevated, blood vessels dilate, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles in need. The flowing water of hot tubs and whirlpools can also mimic massage pressure, further helping ease pain and swelling.
A warm bath also increases a woman’s metabolism, which is important for postpartum recovery. The increase in calories helps the body burn off extra fat and glucose stored after delivery. Additionally, the soothing effect of a warm bath has been shown to reduce inflammation. Low-grade chronic inflammation is linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
For women experiencing perineal pain, it is a good idea to take warm baths several times a day, and to use sitz baths (sitting in a tub of water that covers the vulvar area) as well. It is recommended that the temperature of the bath be comfortable and not so hot that the woman begins to sweat. It is also a good idea to take medication like ibuprofen to alleviate pain.
Current ACOG guidelines recommend continuous suturing for the repair of episiotomies and second-degree perineal lacerations. However, research on optimal repair techniques is limited. This review and meta-analysis aims to synthesize the existing literature, ensuring that standing clinical recommendations are supported by current evidence. This study compared the outcomes of 140 women divided into two experimental groups repaired with Histoacryl surgical glue and two control groups sutured with monosyb suture thread. Women who were repaired with glue experienced significantly less dyspareunia when sitting, lying down and urinating than those who received sutures.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment throughout pregnancy and postpartum. It addresses a variety of issues from pain to insufficient lactation.
During the first trimester acupuncture is often used to help prevent nausea and vomiting. It also helps to balance the hormones in order to prepare for the birth. It is a wonderful way to relieve back, rib and sciatic pain. It also reduces uterine tension and promotes a healthy cervix.
In the third trimester we focus on labour prep acupuncture which can shorten labour times, reduce the need for medical inductions and improve recovery rates. Acupuncture is also great for reducing abdominal pain and swelling. Acupuncture has been shown to effectively treat diastasis rectus abdominis which is one of the most common complications during and after childbirth.
Acupuncture is also effective for treating urinary retention. A recent randomized controlled trial found that women treated with acupuncture for postpartum urinary retention had significantly less pain during and after treatment than those who were given a local anaesthetic. The researchers believe this was due to a reduction in the nerve impulses transmitted from the bladder to the spinal cord. The study also showed that acupuncture is as effective as catheterization in improving bladder volume. This is because acupuncture can stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal and restore itself. Postpartum care