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Restoring Core Strength After Pregnancy

postpartum woman leans over small baby as she begins workout on a yoga mat

Bringing a new life into the world is undoubtedly a miraculous experience, but it can also take a toll on a woman's body, particularly her pelvic floor and core muscles. One common postpartum condition that many women face is diastasis recti, which involves the separation of the abdominal muscles. Pelvic floor therapy can play a crucial role in restoring core strength after pregnancy, particularly in addressing diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti occurs when the connective tissue between the left and right rectus abdominis muscles (the "six-pack" muscles) stretches and separates, leading to a visible bulge or "pooch" in the abdomen. This separation can weaken the core muscles, affecting posture, stability, and overall function.

Pelvic floor therapy, also known as pelvic floor physical therapy, focuses on rehabilitating the muscles of the pelvic floor, which play a vital role in supporting the pelvic organs, controlling bowel and bladder function, and maintaining core stability. While the pelvic floor muscles are often the primary focus of therapy, addressing diastasis recti requires a comprehensive approach that also targets the abdominal muscles and surrounding tissues.

Restoring Core Strength:
  1. Pelvic Floor Assessment: A thorough assessment by a pelvic floor therapist can identify any weaknesses, imbalances, or dysfunctions in the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This assessment may include palpation, muscle strength testing, and functional movement analysis.

  2. Targeted Exercises: Pelvic floor therapy typically involves a tailored exercise program designed to strengthen the pelvic floor and core muscles while promoting proper alignment and movement patterns. Exercises may include pelvic tilts, transverse abdominal activations, and pelvic floor contractions.

  3. Manual Therapy Techniques: In addition to exercises, pelvic floor therapists may utilize manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and visceral manipulation to address tightness, restrictions, and adhesions in the pelvic and abdominal region.

  4. Education and Lifestyle Modifications: Pelvic floor therapy also emphasizes education on proper body mechanics, breathing techniques, and lifestyle modifications to support optimal pelvic health and core function. This may include guidance on posture, lifting mechanics, and ergonomic modifications for daily activities.

  5. Gradual Progression: Restoring core strength and function takes time and patience. Pelvic floor therapy typically involves a gradual progression of exercises and activities, allowing the body to adapt and strengthen progressively over time.

Diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction are common postpartum issues that can impact a woman's quality of life and well-being. Pelvic floor therapy offers a holistic approach to restoring core strength, addressing diastasis recti, and promoting optimal pelvic health after pregnancy.



About Michelle

Michelle is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Webb Physical Therapy, located in Lawrence, Kansas.  She's worked in PT for close to 10 years, and believes each patient should be treated with a holistic, whole person approach to healing.

She is devoted to helping her patients develop individualized treatment plans to help them achieve their specific goals.

Call (785) 813-1338 for a free 15 minute phone consultation, or email

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