When most people think of physiotherapy, they think of sports injuries and painful exercises to get back on their feet. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Karina Coffey a women’s health physiotherapist and co creator of Melbourne Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy to answer some common questions about when someone may need to see a physio during their pregnancy or after their baby is born. These women are so passionate about what they do and don’t want anyone to be suffering unnecessarily. If you have any questions after reading this post, please don’t hesitate to reach out to them, they will be so happy to help!

 

Karina, tell me about MPPP.

MPPP was started in mid-2017 by myself and my colleague and friend Rebecca Liberatore. For some time it had been our vision to create a specialist pregnancy and pelvic floor physio service for Melbourne’s North West. We are really  passionate about what we do. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, as a treatment modality, has high levels of evidence to support benefit for sufferers of pelvic floor disorders and yet, access to specialist services and the knowledge that help is available is limited, meaning many still suffer in silence. We believe that no one should have to put up with such incredibly debilitating and socially isolating symptoms. Since we started our we have grown to a team of 5 physiotherapists with a strong collective background working in both public and private settings with pregnant and post-partum women. We believe a real strength of our team is being able to provide a comprehensive understanding of the full spectrum of pelvic floor recovery from an acute presentation immediately post-natal or post-surgery through to a full return to function. 

 

When would someone need to see a women’s health physiotherapist?

We commonly see women during pregnancy for conditions such as back pain, pelvic pain and for exercise classes. We then see women post birth if they are seeking advice on how to rehabilitate their pelvic floor muscles following a pregnancy and delivery. We also see women who are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction which can include bladder leakage, rushing to the toilet, pelvic organ prolapse, pain with sex and bowel problems. Any woman experiencing any of these problems should seek professional help as in most cases these conditions can be easily better managed or cured.
 

How do I know if I should see someone during pregnancy or after my baby is born?

If you  fit any of the following criteria:

Unsure how to correctly exercise the pelvic floor
Wanting to exercise safely during pregnancy and afterwards
Concerned about pelvic floor weakness
Experience any bladder leakage – no matter how small!
Notice symptoms of heaviness or dragging in the pelvis
Painful sex or loss of sensation 
Concerned about abdominal muscle recovery
Planning to resume high impact exercise after birth
Experienced a difficult vaginal childbirth- such as large tears with delivery, forceps deliver or had a baby over 4kg
 
 

 

What are the benefits of doing mums and bubs pilates? 

Clinical pilates differs from general pilates in that a program is tailored to your individual needs and developed using the specialist clinical knowledge of an experienced physiotherapist.

Clinical pilates can help you to:

· Regain muscle strength and tone

· Increase flexibility

· Build “core strength” and contribute to improved pelvic floor muscle function

· Improve energy levels and your sense of wellbeing

· Improve post-partum posture and postural awareness

· Give you the chance to get out of the house, socialise and meet like-minded mums in a baby friendly environment!

 

Is incontinence common after birth?

Yes – 1 in 3 women will experience incontinence after a pregnancy! This is irrespective of mode of delivery. So even if you had a c section you are still at risk. This is because the load of the pregnancy places the pelvic floor under strain and can weaken it. BUT it is important to remember whilst common, that bladder leakage is NEVER normal and you should not accept it as a normal part of having babies. As I mentioned before, in many cases it can be easily treated and often cured.
 

Do I need a referral to come and see a physiotherapist?

No, you can book online at www.mppp.com.au. However if you have seen a specialist or GP we also welcome letters of referral and encourage you to bring any relevant paperwork/results to your appointment.
 

How do I contact you for an appointment?

You can book online at www.mppp.com.au, call us on 03 93379125 or visit us in person at 62 Dinah Parade, Keilor East.

 

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