|Originally posted by TurboClaudia
Ask for a referral from the OBs (or just do some research and find someone on your own) for a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation and myofascial release. They are specially trained in all things pelvic floor, including vaginal pain, uterine prolapse, urinary bladder prolapse, and perineal tear healing. I have personally met two women in the past two years who do this work and their education and knowledge about the biomechanical and structural aspects of the female body are absolultely amazing. They will definitely have therapies and suggestions for you.
I am currently seeing a pelvic floor specialist for my slack pelvic floor, and it's GREAT.
I was hesitant to see this occupational therapist, however, because I didn't really understand what she could do for me, and it seemed like a lot of screwing around to get a referral, do I really need to see an OT for this, etc., etc.
My CNM gave me the name of an OT that she likes and has worked with in the past, I went to meet w/ this OT, and discovered all the wonderful things Claudia just raved about.
My OT reminds me A LOT of my homebirth midwives and my CNM...sweet, caring, calm, and knowledgeable about women's bodies and how to help a woman have her body working optimally.
An OT is a great person to see for your prob because ALL that woman does is look at various healed bottoms all the live-long day. They seem to be staunch believers in the power of the pelvic floor that is constantly degraded by things that happen in obstetrics (episiotomies, no one listening to a post-partum woman's needs.)
My OT just went to some OT conference and she spoke of a wonderful world-renound pelvic floor therapist from Australia who said that in Australia, it is common procedure for new moms still in the hosptial to have a visit from a lactation consultant AND a pelvic floor therapist! The idea being, yeah, breastfeed your kid, and yeah, do some Kegels to strengthen your floor/here's how your bottom will heal.
My personal experience with "physical therapy" on my perineum thus far has included a manual evaluation by my therapist on my first visit (no worse than anything that happens at the OB/GYN, and actually much more pleasant, as my therapist sits up by my head on a stool, rather than between my legs.
The next visit included little biofeedback pads attached to wires attached to my OT's computer--this is definitly the 'scary' part of seeing an OT, but hey--the process of placing the little pads (smaller than a band-aid) near the buttcheeks is the 'worst' part, and then the electrical impulses created by my muscles when I kegel show up in graph form on the computer screen, LIVE, so I can see how to best work my muscles, and so that there can be a way to measure improvement (and modify the prescribed exercises, if neccessary.)
Even though I was in for my weak pelvic floor, she spent time evaluating my episiotomy from birth 1 (delibrate equivilant to 2nd degree tear) and a tear from birth 2, to make sure they weren't borthersome for me.
I think it's very valuable for a woman to spend time on an important part of her body with someone who is specifically trained to honor that area of anatomy.