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Tips & Techniques to Get You Back to Full Strength

Perspective from a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist on Return to Higher Level Activity Postpartum

Ashley Dougvillo 
October 20, 2022

It seems like a heavily discussed topic as of late has been regarding social media and how it may be affecting children and their social, mental and emotional development.  However, let’s look at this similar topic but through the lens of a mom. 

As parents, we are constantly bombarded with information on sleep training, behavior modifications, potty training, breastfeeding and all the things that “should work” or that we “should be doing.”  We scroll instagram and see the promises of “getting our bodies back” post baby and the “return to normal.”  We see high level elite athletes and what they're accomplishing at 6, 10, 12 weeks postpartum and we think we are not doing enough, not progressing fast enough.  But when it comes to the 4th trimester postpartum period, what is realistic? 


My answer….”it depends.”  Everybody and every body is different which is what I love about my job as a pelvic floor Physical Therapist.  And the status of your prepartum body doesn’t necessarily correlate with your postpartum presentation as everyone’s experience with labor and delivery and recovery is so different.   But that sometimes can make it challenging when educating individuals on return to activity and setting appropriate expectations, especially if they are constantly inundated with the other women who are “already doing more than them.”  


The point here is that we need to stop comparing our recovery and our postpartum bodies to other individuals.  Each of us is on our own journey with our own obstacles.  Consider following up with a pelvic floor therapist who is going to obtain a detailed past history, assess your current presentation and provide appropriate treatment based on your needs which includes a gradual return to your favorite activities.  They are going to  help you get on YOUR  right road to recovery and headed toward success.  

At the end of the day let’s applaud and lift up all women wherever they are at in their pelvic floor journey.   Our bodies are amazing!

Meet the Author
Ashley Dougvillo joined Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy in 2019. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI in 2008, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. She then went on to attend Northwestern University in Chicago, IL to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. She is a Certified Manual Therapist and has additionally obtained specialty certifications in the Pose Method of running, kinesiotaping, FMS/SFMA, ASTYM, and Women's Health.