One of my favourite parts of working with expectant mamas is the birth prep aspect. I love going on that empowerment journey, especially with first time mamas. There are a lot of great prenatal classes out there that teach you everything you need to know about delivering baby in a hospital/birth centre/home, feeding baby, monitoring baby’s pees and poops, how quickly baby should be gaining weight…
Do you see a theme there? It’s all about baby! Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very important information. We all know the popular book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”, but what about “What To Expect From Your Body Now That You’ve Delivered”?
When I go through my birth prep lessons with my clients, I cover everything from preparing your pelvic floor for childbirth, how exactly to push baby out and in which positions to better protect the pelvic floor, what simple things you can do immediately postpartum to help your pelvic floor recover and what pelvic issues are considered normal in the first 8-12 weeks postpartum. I also always provide what I call “just in case” information about c-section recovery because sometimes it’s a last second decision.
I’ve heard from countless clients that the prenatal education they received during their treatments was the most helpful part of our sessions together. And this is coming from women experiencing leaks and pain during pregnancy!
In light of my experience with clients, I was stoked to learn that a new research study published just this month (January 2022; The Importance of Information Prenatal Education Surrounding Birth-Related Pelvic Floor Trauma Mitigates Symptom-Related Distress) showed just how empowering that education component can be. Here are a few quotes from the article:
“[This study] is the first to examine the role of prenatal pelvic floor education not just in reducing the likelihood and severity of occurrence, but in mitigating psychosocial distress if it does.”
“The extent to which individuals feel blindsided by pelvic floor injuries or symptoms, during an already vulnerable period of the lifespan, may amplify symptom-related distress.”
The big takeaway here is that prenatal education about the pelvic floor helps
- reduce the likelihood and severity of pelvic floor trauma during pregnancy and childbirth,
- improve mama’s ability to cope with any pelvic floor injury if it does occur, and
- empower her to take charge of her own recovery.