Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Puerperal Disorders


There are several dysfunctions that may affect a woman after childbirth. Women · often accept the physical changes that occur after delivering a baby and are unaware that treatment is available. The purpose of this literature review is to educate women in their postpartum years on the dysfunctions that may occur, and possible treatment options. An educational pamphlet describing these dysfunctions and treatments was designed to be given to women before they leave the hospital.

First, the anatomy and physiology of the female pelvic floor is reviewed. This is followed by a description of several physical dysfunctions occurring in the postpartum period and possible treatment options in physical therapy. Pelvic floor dysfunctions, incontinence, episiotomy and cesarean scars, and musculoskeletal dysfunctions are common problems women experience after having a baby, and are addressed in this literature review.

The hope for this literature review is to educate women about the physical dysfunctions that may occur after giving birth and inform them of possible treatment options. Distribution of the pamphlet to women before they leave the hospital will help them to recognize problems in their early stages and seek timely treatment to avoid lifelong problems.