Pelvic Floor Program Promotes ‘Healthy Happy Moms’

Many prenatal programs teach expecting women about what is common. Hoag’s “Healthy Happy Moms” Program helps women distinguish between what is “common” and what is “normal.”

“Something like urinary incontinence after pregnancy might be common, but just because it’s common doesn’t make it normal. Bladder leakage might be common. Perineal tearing during delivery might be common, but there are treatments and preventions available. When we tell women that, I can see the relief on their faces,” said Christine King, PT, DPT, PRPC, clinical supervisor at Hoag Pelvic Health Program.

Experts in optimizing pelvic health, Hoag’s Pelvic Health Program offers pre- and postnatal education and treatment to empower women to seek out answers, solutions and preventions for the types of problems that can arise before, during and after pregnancy.

“We break the myth that ‘everything changes after kids,’” King said. “It doesn’t have to change. It’s a muscle. We can rehab muscles.”

That philosophy has been a game-changer for women who experienced tearing, prolapse or other issues post-pregnancy, as well as for women who are interested in pursuing a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC).

Licensed physical therapists at both the Newport Beach and Irvine locations of the Hoag Pelvic Health Program help women to wade through conflicting post-delivery messages about exercise, incontinence and other healing issues.

King said the work she and her colleagues are doing is slowly becoming the standard of prenatal care.

“Whether it’s labor preparation, teaching general awareness of pelvic floor muscles for VBAC, or massage and stretching to prevent tears during delivery, we are preparing women to deliver successfully,” King said.

Another unique aspect of Hoag’s program is the fact that all eight physical therapists are dedicated to pelvic health. Patients are seen in a comfortable, spa-like setting by practitioners who only treat pelvic health issues.

These physical therapists work closely with OB-GYNs and other physicians to provide comprehensive care that can include baby preparation classes, nutrition, exercise and mental health.

“Because we are co-located with the Hoag for Her Center for Wellness and the Hoag Maternal Mental Health Clinic under one roof, we have robust offerings for pre- and postnatal patients,” King said. “It’s not uncommon for patients to be seen with our team, go next-door to maternal mental health or have a prenatal massage, and then see their OB all in the span of a few hours. We are able to collaborate closely.”

King said she and her team regularly receive glowing reviews about Happy Healthy Moms from, well, happy healthy moms.

“Our favorite emails are from women with pictures of their new babies and messages about how they felt so prepared for their labor and how well-managed their pain was,” she said. “We live for those emails.”

For more information, call 888-568-3853.