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Dorset Local Maternity Services would like to use people’s feedback to help develop a new pelvic health service. This is part of a national initiative to improve access to early advice and specialist assessment and treatment during the childbearing year across the country.
Research shows that one in three women experience urinary incontinence in the first year after having a baby and up to three quarters of these women continue to experience this in the following 12 years after giving birth. A further one in 10 women experience faecal incontinence and another one in 12 will have a pelvic organ prolapse.
The service will deliver good identification of pelvic health problems and will bring together midwives, specialist doctors and specialist physiotherapists to knowledge share and improve the support to women during their childbearing year with a longer term goal of improved lifelong pelvic health.
Physiotherapists can teach women how to exercise pelvic floor muscles correctly, give advice on diet and fluid intake as well as helping women to monitor their progress. The specialist physio teams will be working with their midwifery colleagues to share this knowledge and improve resources for women during pregnancy and after.
There will be an option to self-refer so that women don’t feel embarrassed seeking help in addition to GPs and midwives being able to refer patients for help.
The service will also provide training and support for local clinicians who are working with women, including GPs and midwives.
The support is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to improve the prevention, identification and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction, so that fewer women experience ongoing issues after giving birth and later in life.
If you have any questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sally Sheppard is the Project Lead, Perinatal Pelvic Health Project, Dorset.