Is it possible to have less tearing to your lady parts, shorter pushing phase, lower C-section risk and better postpartum recovery?

Help us determine if pelvic floor physical therapy could give you these possible results!

If you are in the second half of your pregnancy, sign up to participate in our prenatal research study looking at the potential benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy including:

  • Decreased perineal tearing and trauma
  • Shorter pushing phase during delivery
  • Less risk for Cesarean section
  • Better recovery with less pain after delivery
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At Revitalize Physical Therapy we specialize in pregnancy and postpartum pelvic floor issues. After years of treating women during pregnancy, we started to notice a trend with our patients.  All of them had really good outcomes during delivery with minimal tearing, fast pushing phases and no C-sections. This was very different from what was considered “normal” and in the research.  When we started looking to the research for answers to our great patient outcomes, we couldn’t find a single research study that looked at the effects of pelvic floor physical therapy. With this data, it could potentially change our standard of care for the pregnant patient and lead to less birth complications and their long-term implications!

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After working with pregnant women for over 4 years, we have seen really great results.  They have experienced less trauma with perineal tearing, shorter pushing phases during delivery, less C-sections and faster recoveries with less pain.  In fact, most women tell us that it was their "easiest" delivery to date!

Don't take it from us! Here are some thoughts from some of our recent patients:

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Most women are told to do kegels during pregnancy in order to "strengthen the pelvic floor for childbirth."  However, the pelvic floor muscles must stretch 2.5 times their normal length in order to allow for the delivery of baby vaginally through the levator hiatus.  It is also very common during pregnancy, in our experience, that the pelvic floor muscles become too overactive (aka too tight) due to the extra demands on those muscles during this time.  If the pelvic floor muscles become overactive, these muscles aren't as pliable as normal and can’t stretch adequately in order to allow for delivery.  This can hinder the delivery process as well as lead to higher likelihood of tearing and longer amount of time spent pushing. Tearing and other birth trauma can lead to a longer and more challenging recovery from childbirth with further pelvic floor issues. Our goal is to release these commonly tight areas and have data to support what we have seen in our patients.

Note: The levator hiatus is the opening within the pelvic floor muscles that allows for the passage of the baby (see photo).

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In order to eliminate these "overactive" pelvic floor muscles, we perform myofascial release as part of pelvic floor physical therapy.  Our study design includes participants starting in their third trimester in order to receive an adequate number of treatment sessions before delivery.  All of our participants will receive standardized treatment so that we can evaluate the results afterwards.  Then we will measure differences in the C-section rate, degree of tearing, length of pushing, and pain and functional limitations in the postpartum period.

Below is a timeline of the study for our participants:

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Pelvic floor physical therapy often involves a comprehensive approach to treating the whole body using manual release techniques, joint mobilizations, strengthening and retraining exercises, and breathing training.  For this prenatal research study, we will be focused primarily on manual release techniques called myofascial release, in order to downtrain (aka relax) the deep pelvic floor muscles.  We will also be including training in breathing, pelvic floor stretching, and pelvic floor relaxation.

Internal pelvic floor assessment and treatment is very gentle and usually pain-free, in fact it’s less intrusive than intercourse which is why it’s safe to have this treatment during pregnancy.  This is also MUCH different than "perineal massage" because it is targeting the deeper pelvic floor muscles rather than the superficial muscles surrounding the vaginal opening.

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The following benefits are what we have experienced with our clients and what we are hypothesizing to be significant:

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The results from this prenatal research study could have long term implications for improving the standard of care for the pregnant woman.  If our treatment does lead to less trauma for the mom, it should be included as part of prenatal care and education.  It also can assist in less birth complications.  With C-sections and longer pushing phases, there are more risks for medical complications for mom and baby, as well as infection risk with C-sections and perineal tearing.  We also hope that this helps aid in a woman's postpartum recovery since she will have less physical and potentially emotional and psychological limitations to deal with if she is not in pain or healing from a potential surgical intervention.

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We did not want cost to be a major barrier for women to participate so we have substantially discounted our services and received support from a crowdfunding campaign.  We have created a special package for this research study for a total of $345 ($1,620 regular value) that includes the evaluation and 6 treatment sessions.  Due to the significantly reduced price, we will not submit to your insurance but you are more than welcome to submit your receipts on your own.  As our way of saying thank you for participating, we are also giving all participants a free, optional 8-week postpartum assessment.