Nueva Vida’s approach to addressing pelvic floor and core dysfunction helps clients fully participate in daily life in all the ways that make it meaningful to them. You’ll work through both the mental and physical concerns that are impacting pregnancy, birth, postpartum, or perimenopause. Things like your routines, habits, stress management, and scar tissue can impact your health in this area. Your therapists, primary care provider and other experts communicate with each other to serve you throughout your pelvic floor therapy journey. You’ll be connected to higher level care such as gynecology or urogynecology as needed.
We know that early intervention is key following any trauma or injury. Birth is one experience that affects the pelvic floor and core for many women. By combining postpartum doula support and pelvic floor therapy, we can address the most common dysfunctions early on which helps to prevent things like “sneeze pee” later on. Even if you’re years out from having a baby, you can still get better with pelvic floor therapy!
When you’re going through perimenopause, you may notice new changes such as vaginal dryness, mood changes, or difficulty with arousal. Due to the effects of hormonal shifts, you may benefit from pelvic floor therapy along with conversations with your favorite gynecologist and mental health therapist.
Of course, I’d love to help everyone, always. But, I always review the history of the concern and have a complimentary discovery call with potential clients to be sure that a pelvic floor evaluation is the right place to start. Occasionally, I recommend seeking an examination by a trusted physician first. In those cases I have my favorites to recommend. Usually, if you’re experiencing run of the mill stress incontinence or caused by muscle weakness or tightness, pelvic floor therapy can reduce your chance of needing surgery or other intervention down the road.
As an Occupational Therapist, I offer a holistic approach to pelvic floor health. I have a different way of approaching goal-setting and intervention that takes into account the roles you play in the world (working mom, here!), cognition, emotional health, trauma history, and work/home/gym environments. Really, the main difference between me and the providers who typically offer these services is that I offer them from the comfort of your home. You may not see me walk in with a techy biofeedback computer every time as is readily available in a clinic setting, but my approach is often still more successful because I’m taking into account the whole picture, not just the localized weakness of the pelvic floor.
It’s actually really common to leak when you sneeze, especially during pregnancy and during recovery after birth. While it’s common, it is NOT normal. We don’t have to live that way just because Aunt So-and-So or your well-meaning care provider says it just happens and we just have to deal. “Sneeze pee” is usually considered stress incontinence. The pelvic floor muscles, when at their best, are supposed to tighten under stress like sneezing. When the muscles weaken or are not mobile enough, they can’t offer the right protection. In some situations, people have recently started increasing their fluid intake far beyond their normal routine and they start leaking more often. This leads to a fear that their pelvic floor muscles are damaged or something worse has happened. Increased fluid intake leads to increased bladder filling, leading to increased urgency and downward pressure. Regardless of the change in routine, if the fluid intake is at a healthy amount and caffeine consumption isn’t too high, the pelvic floor should be able to withstand the stress. If you are avoiding drinking healthy amounts of water during your day out of fear of leaking, please seek guidance from a pelvic floor therapist.
Jumping adds a similar stress to the pelvic floor muscles as sneezing does. In this situation, you’re adding the weight of gravity and some. If you learned physics in school, you can imagine how the downward force internally while launching yourself, could affect your insides just like it does on an object outside yourself. If your pelvic floor muscles are compromised in any way, you’re likely to leak while jumping. Pelvic organ prolapse can also worsen during the stress of jumping which can exacerbate the leakage. If you’re avoiding your box jumps or jumping on the trampoline with your kids, I’m here to help.
During labor and the pushing phase of a vaginal delivery (even if it ends up in a c-section), the soft tissues within the pelvis including the pelvic floor stretch beyond anything they regularly experience. Also, the muscles become extremely fatigued and essentially take a time out to recover. While they recover, it’s difficult for our body to reflexively or voluntarily control the muscles that stop the flow of urine. While this type of incontinence is mostly stress incontinence, your brain’s ability to assess bladder fullness can also be compromised, sometimes leading to what’s called urge incontinence. The communication between the bladder and the brain can become impaired for a time. Have no fear, pelvic floor rehab is here! These issues are satisfying to treat because with some well established tips and tricks, I’m confident that you’ll be on your way to recovery and a drier day.