"The birth of my son should have been joyous"
What is Physical Trauma?
Physical trauma may or may not be identified immediately. Indeed, you may be the first to notice something isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Physical symptoms may include:
- Continuing pain around the site of the episiotomy or tear in the perineum (between vagina and anus) after birth
- Urinary or faecal incontinence
- Difficulty opening and emptying bowels
- Pain or difficulty having sex
- Constant lower back pain
- A bulge or lump at the vaginal opening
- A dragging feeling in the pelvis or a sense that something is ‘falling out’ – this symptom may be increased by standing, lifting, tiredness or at period time
- Vaginal or pelvic floor muscle laxity
Your first step for accessing care could be: speaking to your GP, midwife or obstetrician; or you may want to see a specialist women’s health (pelvic floor) physiotherapist. Pelvic floor physiotherapists have been specifically trained in the field of pelvic floor health. If you require multiple visits you may qualify for a GP care plan.
Due to the complexity of pelvic floor dysfunction, finding a team of trusted health professionals is a crucial component to your journey. Whilst health professionals may work with postpartum women, they aren’t always trained to deal with this type of physical trauma. As a result, we strongly suggest that if you feel something isn’t working for you then seek a second opinion; in fact even if it feels right, you may still wish to seek a second opinion. This is why our private Facebook forum is a useful resource as you can ask questions of “real” women who have experienced similar problems to assist with your own individual journey.
If you are experiencing any physical symptoms in the first 6 weeks, you may wish to approach a larger hospital and find out the types of support they offer.You may also be symptomless and still have physical trauma to the pelvic floor. More often than not such trauma isn’t identified as it is sometimes not visible to the eye, or because doctors and midwives don't look closely enough. For example, you will typically be told if your perineum (that is, the outside) tears, but types of damage may happen underneath the skin or in the vagina and may not be noticed.