You’ve had the postpartum tick from the doctor, so do you need a post natal women’s health check, and what exactly is involved?
You’ve done it! You made it through to the fourth trimester with a beautiful bundle in your arms. Perhaps you’ve already had the six-week doctor’s sign-off that you’re all set to get back to day-to-day life. While that check-up is medically critical (checking for things like uterus contraction, wound healing and more), just because you may have the go-ahead to resume exercise and sexual intimacy, doesn’t mean you personally feel ready. That’s where a women’s health check might help.
Where To Get A Women’s Health Check Up
Joint Dynamics Evolve is Hong Kong’s first multidisciplinary clinic specialising in supporting women’s physical, emotional and wellness needs through all life stages (from puberty to menopause!). Its dedicated team of women’s specialists can provide the initial post-natal women’s checks, as well as referals to its in-house team which includes nutritionists, psychologists, exercise physiologists, personal trainers and small group fitness classes as well as sleep coaches to get you the post natal support you need.
Functional Post-Natal Rehabilitation
A Pelvic Health physiotherapist assesses how your musculoskeletal system is recovering by looking at your pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, scar tissue as well as rib and pelvic alignment for signs of dysfunction.
At that first session you can expect:
- To talk about your pregnancy and birth experience as well as menstruation and past surgery
- A discussion about your bladder, bowel and sexual function
- To chat about your current challenges and future goals
- A practical assessment of your spine, hips, upper back and pelvis
- An internal examination of your pelvic floor
- A check of your abdominal wall for signs of diastasis
- A review of your situation and recommendations and guidance for next steps (if needed)
What is involved in the internal pelvic floor examination?
Firstly, this exam should only be conducted by a qualified Women’s Health Physiotherapist who will typically have post-graduate training in this area. The exam uses ultrasound of the abdominal wall (the same as your doctor may have used) or a digital exam, to assess your muscle tone and strength, prolapse or risk of prolapse, pain, tightness and scar tissue. Your therapist should also be fully explained to you throughout the treatment.
We often hear how during pregnancy women become so focused on the birth that they remain blissfully unaware of the challenges of breastfeeding. A women’s health practitioner can review wrist, shoulder and upper back pain that come from your posture while holding your baby, as well as treating clogged ducts that may lead to the dreaded mastitis.
Return To Exercise And Running With Confidence
So many women measure their postpartum recovery on their ability to return to exercise, and in particular running. Both pregnancy and birth have a huge impact on your body and to avoid unnecessary risks (prolapse, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain and more) it’s advised to have a more gradual return to high-impact exercise. A women’s health practitioner can provide an assessment of your strength and get you up and running again. Just not before you’re truly ready.
When Should You Book Your Post Natal Women’s Health Check
You should be at least six weeks post-natal, have had your check-up by your doctor and have finished bleeding vaginally (lochia) for at least one week. It is never too late to make your postnatal appointment and a checkup is suitable for anyone who has had a baby at any point in the past and wants to learn to understand their new body better and get back to what they love.