Post-natal physiotherapy is one of the most rewarding areas of physiotherapy. The relief provided for new Moms is enormous and they are hugely grateful for the support.
The post-natal ward is a happy ward. Every now and again there is a heartbreaking and sad event (a stillborn or termination of pregnancy for a birth defect), but mostly it is a place of miracles and wonder. This is so good for the physio’s soul too. Daily contact with newborns and new Moms is very special.
The physiotherapist has a place in the maternity ward alongside the nurses, midwives and lactation consultants. The relationship amongst these healthcare providers is essential and leads to excellent care of the Moms and babies while they are still in hospital and prepares them so well for when they are discharged.
Physiotherapy includes assessment of each individual, prevention of complications, breastfeeding support and the beginning of retraining the pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles which accelerates the recovery from pregnancy and childbirth.
And what is invaluable is support of the Mom from an emotional point of view.
Your assessment begins at the door of the ward. There are many clues as you enter the room. Is the Mom already up and about? (Mobility will be less of a problem and therefore circulatory complications should be less) Is the Mom a red head? (May be a candidate for severe engorgement) Is Dad there? (not always possible in the times of COVID) In the subjective examination include assessment of the Mom, the pregnancy, the delivery, feeding options and the baby.
Objective examination and treatment addresses mobility, the circulatory and respiratory systems, pain and breastfeeding complications.
Physiotherapy treatment provides such relief. Improved mobility allows the Mom to engage with her new baby more comfortably and quicker. Prevention of complications is key to being discharged quickly and problem-free.
And help with breastfeeding support and complications means that bonding with this new little creature is a happy experience.
There is so much that physiotherapists can offer in the post-natal ward and we are very privileged to be allowed into this very special space.
For more detail re assessment and treatment in the post-natal space watch Sam’s talk entitled Post-natal Physiotherapy in the Time of COVID.
Click here to learn more about this course: Post Natal Physiotherapy in the Time of COVID