The purpose of this standard of care is to highlight best practices for pelvic health physical therapists when identifying, examining, evaluating, and treating women in the postpartum stage.

Pregnancy and childbirth can negatively impact the pelvic floor, abdomen, and lower quarter joints and/or musculature resulting in urinary & defectory impairments, complaints of pain/discomfort, lumbopelvic instability, and sexual dysfunction.

Postpartum women are usually released from care 6 weeks after birth. Symptoms present during the first 6-weeks can be considered normal and may resolve without intervention. However, many symptoms related to the pelvic floor, abdomen, and pelvic girdle persist beyond the 6 weeks, which increases the likelihood for these symptoms to be underdiagnosed and undertreated.

These delayed postpartum symptoms do not resolve spontaneously and without intervention.

Symptoms that persist after 6-8 weeks are abnormal and warrant investigation. These delayed postpartum symptoms do not resolve spontaneously and without intervention. In fact, if left untreated these symptoms can become severe and chronic.

Symptoms can negatively impact a women’s activities of daily life (i.e. childcare duties, sleeping, etc.), quality of life (i.e. sexual function, traveling, social activities, etc.), and self-image. Nevertheless, studies have shown desirable outcomes for postpartum women (early and late stages) when they are appropriately examined, diagnosed, and treated by a holistic healthcare team.

The purpose of this standard of care is to highlight best practices for pelvic health physical therapists when identifying, examining, evaluating, and treating women in the postpartum stage.

View the Standard of Care for Postpartum below.

Jasmine Evans, PT, DPT  is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy at Mettler Center. 

Call 217-398-9800 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a physical therapist.

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