Knowledge is power
Our updates are designed to keep you informed
Our updates are designed to keep you informed
We are so delighted that the extensive research in the the "4th trimester" has been formalized into updated guidelines for new mothers! Women's Health Physical Therapy is an essential component of healing and establishing a new healthy phase in life.
Complete article as found at PT in Motion News: Published 7/11/18
OB-GYN Group Embraces 'Fourth Trimester' Concept, Acknowledges Role
of Physical Therapy in Postpartum Care
A task force for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says it's time to frame postpartum care as an "ongoing process" requiring a personalized, cross-disciplinary approach—including the use of physical therapy when appropriate. APTA and its Section on Women's Health have registered strong support of the recommendations.
In a committee opinion issued in May, ACOG's Presidential Task Force on Redefining the Postpartum Visit embraced the concept of the "fourth trimester," the idea that mother and child need ongoing care through at least the first 12 weeks after delivery. According to the task force, the fourth-trimester concept stands in contrast to the practice of an "arbitrary" single encounter with a primary care provider, often at 6 weeks after giving birth.
Instead, the task force recommends contact with a maternal care provider within the first 3 weeks postpartum, during which the provider and patient would discuss a wide range of postpartum issues—from feelings of depression to the need for physical therapy to address incontinence and resumption of physical activity. Later, but within 12 weeks postpartum, a "comprehensive postpartum visit" should take place, according to the recommendations. That visit would also serve as a transition into ongoing well-woman care.
The formal acknowledgementof physical therapy's role in postpartum care represents a significant conceptual shift, according to Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, president of the APTA Section on Women's Health.
"Physical therapy has played a role in the postpartum health of women for many years; however, patient access to care was often limited to mothers who have a referring provider having prior experience with physical therapy, or it was simply left to the patient to find her own answers for her postpartum issues," Pagliano said. "Formal recognition of physical therapy in the fourth trimester not only recognizes our expertise in this area of care but provides a clearly stated standard of care for physicians providing postpartum care options for their patients."
In a joint letter to ACOG on behalf the section and APTA, Pagliano and APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, applauded the inclusion of physical therapists as a part of the health team envisioned in the recommendations.
"Physical therapists' knowledge base and expertise related to the assessment and treatment of urinary and fecal incontinence, and for perinatal musculoskeletal issues including sexual dysfunction, pelvic girdle, and low back pain, as well as diastasis recti and painful scar tissue, will complement the contributions of other health care providers working in this important area of practice," the letter states. "Including physical therapy as a standard of postpartum care will increase the resources available for women to return to or improve their quality of life."
For its part, the task force hopes the recommendations will influence payment and other policies around postpartum care, and will help to underscore the importance of fourth-trimester care among new mothers, among whom an estimated 40% never attend a single postpartum visit
"The recognition of the fourth trimester is extremely important," Pagliano said. "Historically, women have talked about postpartum issues among themselves but may have been told 'that's just what happens when you have a baby.' These recommendations move the conversation into the light, providing a clear pathway, opening opportunities to discuss prevention, education, and treatment options for mothers following birth."
Kudos to our most recent graduate from Opt IN! This gal has reversed her umbilical hernia, eliminated her back pain and returned to strength and confidence caring for her family!
Her review of care with us:
"I had a wonderful experience with Opt In and would highly recommend her services. I worked with her for several months and every appointment was tailored specifically to my needs, she was extremely personable and detail oriented and always remembered exactly where we were at. She provided me with a variety of stretching, core strengthening and strength exercises that have helped me significantly regain strength and confidence in my ability to exercise after three pregnancies."
The FDA recently published an article encouraging pregnant women who are taking medications to enroll in a secure database that is collecting information on current medication use during pregnancy.
The article states, "When women are pregnant they take care to eat right and refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. But what to do about prescription drugs is a more complicated topic. Approximately half of the 6.3 million women who are pregnant every year take at least one medication, and prescription use is on the rise." The FDA states that more information is clearly needed to understand the effects of medication during the childbearing years.
The goal of the FDA is to identify and address gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for pregnant and lactating women. Therefore a registry site has been established to collect information. The FDA is encouraging pregnant women to enroll in a pregnancy exposure registry if they take a prescription drug for a medical condition. Enrolling can help improve safety information for medicines used during pregnancy and can be used to update drug labeling.
FDA’s pregnancy registry site connects women and health professionals and provides links to drug information and educational resources on medication use during pregnancy. Studies conducted with the registry data can help to provide information on the effects of prescription drug and vaccine exposures on the health of pregnant women and, after they give birth, of their babies.
Original article: https://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2017/08/working-to-improve-information-on-medication-use-during-pregnancy/
NPR recently published a story called "Flattening The 'Mummy Tummy' With 1 Exercise, 10 Minutes A Day." This article received a lot of news coverage because women everywhere agree it would be fabulous if we could eliminate abdominal separation (diastasis recti) so easily. Those of us here at Opt IN! Physical Therapy were immediately concerned because the this article, and the associated study, did not accurately portray what we know to be effective treatment of diastasis recti.
The Women's Health Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has published a complete and accurate response to the NPR publication. Here are the most important points for women to understand:
Addressing the physical changes women experience after carrying and delivering a baby is complex. Women need individualized care to ensure they are doing the right type of exercise to effectively address their body. Opt IN! is here to make it easy for you to get expert care.
APTA's article responding to the original NPR story:
NPR's original story: