Why You Need Abdominal and Spine Support after Delivery by Dr. Zalina bt Salleh

February 8, 2013: Authored by: Alpha Health Asia Staff

Why you need abdominal and spine support after delivery
By Dr. Zalina bt Salleh, MD (UKM), MOG (UKM), Consultant Obstetrician and Gynoecologist

Given the dramatic changes a woman’s body endures throughout her pregnancy and the potential trauma inflicted by either caesarean or vaginal birth, a woman could greatly benefit from the additional support provided by a postpartum support garment.

Pregnancy and childbirth represents two of the greatest transitions that a woman may face in their lifetime. The woman’s body goes through a dramatic change from the day of conception through the 9 months of pregnancy. From the obvious expanding tummy as the fetus grow, the shifting of internal organs, bones, ligaments, joints and muscles (musculoskeletal system) to hormonal changes in the body.

The musculoskeletal and hormonal changes affect nearly every body system and the resulting changes to the body does not simply snap itself back overnight after the child is born. Pregnancy hormones responsible in preparing the body for birth persist in the body for 3 to 5 months, and the musculoskeletal can take up to 12 months to return to its normal state. After delivery some women can suffer long term, abnormal pelvic girdle pain, abdominal muscle separation, aches, weakness, and numbness in the body.

The pelvic floor is possibly the most impacted body structure during pregnancy. In the human body, the pelvic floor provides balance, structural stabilization, and vital organ support. Because the pelvic floor acts as the support system for the lower intestine, colon, and bladder, these vital organs may be less supported for a few months immediately after birth. This lack of support is the primary reason why some women suffer incontinence when coughing, sneezing, or laughing after birth.

A support garment can offer greater stability to a woman’s body after birth. The garment acts to retract the body by drawing stretched muscles and providing structure to the torso, subsequently reducing strain on ligaments and joints in the lower back, pelvis, and buttocks. Reducing stress in these areas enhances the body’s ability to return to its pre-pregnancy alignment and shape, and offer greater stability to the pelvic floor. Additionally, a garment can offer support to the abdominal wall as the muscles retract to their pre-pregnancy position.

If a woman has experienced a caesarean delivery, the body area affected most by the procedure is the abdomen. The transition from lying in bed to walking can be incredibly painful. Not only will the incision area be painful, but the sensation of shifting organs may be uncomfortable.

A postpartum body garment that specifically addresses the needs of a woman who has undergone a caesarean birth offers support to the entire torso, abdominal wall, and assists in incision healing. Furthermore, a well fitted body garment stabilizes the pelvic floor and supports the spine, giving a woman greater stability and confidence.

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