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Reviving Your Sex Life after Childbirth.

Reviving Your Sex Life after Childbirth

by Wallace, K., PT BCB-PMD

San Bernardino, CA: Self-published, 2014, 117 pages, $19.95 paperback

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a topic that many women may find new and innovative. However, Kathe Wallace, PT, BCB-PMD has been teaching about and evaluating pelvic floor dysfunction for the past 25 years. In her latest book, Reviving Your Sex Life after Childbirth, Kathe shares her knowledge and expertise in helping post-partum women regain a pain free and rewarding sex life. Since childbirth alters the musculoskeletal structure of the pelvic floor and pelvic girdle resulting in muscle weakness and possible pain, there is available education, treatment, body conditioning and manual techniques for regaining normal function. Wallace provides explicit and detailed instructions with illustrations for enhancing pelvic health.

The introduction to the book begins with information concerning the bodily changes that occur due to the childbirth process. Vaginal births may result in a new awareness of musculoskeletal pain and discomfort during the time of healing. During the recommended six-week post-partum visit to a physician or midwife, it should be noted that any intense pain that interferes with normal functioning is not typical. Therefore, if the new mother is healing well, yet experiencing pain or discomfort, she could be referred to a Women's Health Pelvic Physical Therapist. These therapists receive additional training in assessment and examination techniques for pelvic floor muscle and genital issues. This unique area of physical therapy continues to grow throughout the United State and abroad.

Kathe also provides an overview of changes within the postpartum body and discusses two problems that may occur during or after a vaginal birth. The first problem is pain and restricted mobility as a result of tears or an episiotomy. The everyday activities of caring for a new infant and staying mobile can present difficulties. In addition, prolonged pushing during labor may produce spasms or generate trigger points in the pelvic region. The author demonstrates techniques and tips for addressing these trigger points, which include direct pressure and stretching. The second problem discussed is pelvic floor muscle weakness and how it can affect bowel and bladder control. Once a new mother has healed, she should not experience complications with bladder and bowel control. At times women may also feel like their uterus is falling out of their vagina and describe an organ prolapse. Sexual intercourse may be impaired due to the prolapse of the uterus. Wallace discusses the various types of prolapse that may occur, and strengthening activities that can prevent the prolapse from advancing to a possibly difficult complication. Other problems may be hemorrhoids, queefing or varting, fissures, fistulas, and diastasis rectus abdominis.

Furthermore, Kathe includes 10 tips and various guides to help new mothers understand their bodies and transition towards therapeutic healing. Recommendations deal with various topics including, but not limited to: care of the perineum, hormonal changes, relaxation techniques, internal vaginal stretching techniques, exercises for pelvic floor release, episiotomy or perineal tears, exercises for strengthening pelvic floor muscles, assessment of diastasis rectus abdominis and massage techniques for scar tissue. The helpful hints are explained with numerous drawings and thorough instructions.

Reviving Your Sex Life after Childbirth provides new mothers additional information which can support them and enlighten them concerning very sensitive topics throughout postpartum. An instructive book that generates questions and enables women concerning pelvic health and sexual pleasure is valuable during such a stressful time. Health Care Practitioners will benefit from recommending this as an illustrative and explanatory resource for all new moms and their partners. It is a welcome addition of valuable and empowering information for women experiencing the healing process after childbirth.

reviewed by Jean Rother, MS RN

Jean Rother, MS RN is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has 7 years of experience instructing Community Health and Mental Health Nursing in the Accelerated Nursing Program.
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Author:Rother, Jean
Publication:International Journal of Childbirth Education
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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