Physical Therapy versus Personal Trainer During Postpartum Healing

After my class the other day I was approached my one of the moms who wanted to know what the next step for her should be during her postpartum healing. She was feeling disconnected and “wrecked” after her third baby and really wanted to do more for herself.

She’s taken several of my classes over the years but nothing consistent due to life (on both our ends).

Needless to say she knows that I’m a PT who helps new moms. But she still wasn’t sure if she needed to see a PT or go to a personal trainer.

This opened my eyes up to see that even those moms who I think are aware of the benefits of postpartum PT and how important it is, STILL, question if it’s necessary.

Then as if the universe was telling me to help moms understand more an Instragram feed I follow posted a quick list of differences between postpartum core rehab and personal training.

I took this as a sign to go deeper.

So if you have ever questioned if postpartum PT is right for you versus seeing a personal trainer here are the top 6 differences.


A physical therapist has been extensively trained to perform a whole body physical evaluation. This includes not only testing your strength and flexibility, but joint function, pain assessment, motor function, mobility, posture and alignment, and when necessary an internal pelvic exam. This evaluation is based on your history, current complaint and goals.

This provides you and the PT a more in depth look at what your body needs during your one-on-one care and home program.

Manual Care

What this means is if your body has muscle spasm, fascial restrictions, muscle trigger points, joint hypomobility and other musculoskeletal issues that really benefit from hands on manipulation a PT can perform special manual therapy techniques to help.

There are many different types of manual therapy and some PTs specialize in one or a few techniques. By performing these it helps your body reduce inflammation & pain, improve flexibility & motor control, organ functioning and overall well being.

Inside - Out

When you work with a pelvic floor PT for postnatal core rehab we focus on the deep muscles first. You know those muscles that influence and are most effected by pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

The deep core four!

The pelvic floor, transversus abdominus, multifidus and respiratory diaphragm.

These muscles need to be addressed first before moving on to the big ones surrounding them. This is because they provide the stability to your organs, pelvis and spine joints. They help manage the forces and pressures within your trunk to reduce strain on your body during activity.

Focus inside then out!

Fascial Functioning

The fascial system is a network of tissue this is interwoven into every fiber in your body. This tissue influences every other fiber and function around it. When it becomes injured and dehydrated it can cause dysfunction like diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and pain, among other problems.

A PT can help you manage your fascia through nourishing myofascial release and fascial stretching.

Home Program

I believe one of the most important aspects of PT is the home program. The instruction of what to do when you are on your own. Not only the exercises, but the habits, body mechanics, lifestyle modifications and self care necessary to reach your goals.

Functional Training

Exercises will only get you so far, especially when healing from a birth and taking care of a baby. That’s where functional training can up level any exercise routine. A PT builds upon your strength, flexibility, posture, balance, fascial and mobility exercises and reflects it in how you perform your daily tasks.

Meaning you learn how to move safely and efficiently while caring for yourself, your baby and the rest of your life. These new movement patterns are enhanced and through exercise and mindfulness. Both of which are harnessed through a home program.

Remember, these are only the top 6 differences between PT and a personal trainer for postpartum core [really all healing] rehab.

In other words, seeking help with a highly trained postpartum PT after giving birth is the first step to recovery. Then once you have reconnected to your body and addressed any dysfunction seeking the more longer term assistance of a personal trainer can help you reach other fitness or lifestyle goals you may have.

Curious how postpartum PT can help you? Let’s chat. Schedule a FREE informational consult call with me now to build your knowledge for life long pelvic health.

You’ve got this!