Pregnancy and After Care
Pregnancy and Post Natal Physiotherapy
Pregnancy physiotherapy services
- Our team of experienced Women’s Health Physiotherapists look after pregnant women from the beginning of their pregnancy up to 3 years after giving birth.
- During pregnancy:
- Pregnancy-related pain – Treatment and management for pain during pregnancy can be different. Our team of experienced Women’s Health Physiotherapists can deliver safe and effective treatment.
- Bladder or bowel leakage
- Birth Preparation
- Prepare you for postnatal care
In the first 6 weeks after your delivery, our physiotherapists can assist with the following:
- Screening of bladder and bowel function, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual pain, musculoskeletal issues
- Surgical scar healing
- Perineal pain and swelling management
- Treatment of breast conditions like engorgement or blocked ducts
- Return to exercise
After 6 weeks, our physiotherapists can also:
- Perform an internal vaginal examination to assess your pelvic floor function
- Progress your exercise program
What can pregnancy physio do
Our women’s health physiotherapist can help with the following areas:
Pregnancy-related musculoskeletal conditions like pelvic girdle pain, lower back pain, upper back and/or rib pain.
- 2 in 3 pregnant women develop lower back pain, while 20-25% of women develop pelvic girdle pain (including the sacroiliac joint and/or pubic symphysis). Other areas of pain commonly affected are the thoracic spine, ribs and lower belly as your pregnancy progresses.
- Our physiotherapists can assess any dysfunctions that may be causing your pain, and provide you with advice around activity modification in your everyday life, while providing you with exercises to strengthen your muscles, stay active and reduce pain during your pregnancy.
Bladder or bowel leakage
- Urinary leakage is very common during pregnancy and the early postnatal period. Pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training can help prevent this. There is evidence that women who do PFM training early in their pregnancy reduce their risk of urinary leakage in later pregnancy by 62%, and by 29% 3-6 months postnatally, compared to women who do not do PFM training in pregnancy.
- Our physiotherapists can teach you correct PFM exercises and give you a personalised home exercise program. We will also be able to help with any advice on bladder retraining and bowel issues if required.
Pelvic floor muscle contraction technique
- Many women have heard of and have tried performing PFM exercises or “Kegel exercises” but research suggests that about 60% of women with pelvic floor dysfunction (urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) incorrectly contract their PFMs.
- Our physiotherapists can check your technique using real time ultrasound (RTUS) , or an internal vaginal examination, to make sure that you are performing your contractions optimally. We will ensure that you are confident with your PFM exercises and will help you create a program to keep your PFMs strong.
- Rectus abdominis diastasis (RAD), or abdominal separation, will happen 100% of the time by the end of the pregnancy as your abdominal muscles need to stretch to allow for your baby to grow. After childbirth. Some women bounce back quickly, while others may notice a “gap” in their tummy muscles and/or doming through their abdomen for a period of time.
- Our physiotherapists can assess the severity of your RAD and provide you with advice on modifying activities in your daily life. Abdominal exercises and core activation technique will be checked and a tailored exercise program will be provided to each individual.
- Perineal massage is recommended from 35 weeks gestation to help prepare the perineum for delivery. Perineal massage can help reduce the incidence of obstetric anal sphincter tears as well as the need for episiotomies and reduces the chance of having ongoing perineal pain after delivery.
- Birth preparation with our physiotherapists involves: vaginal examination to help relax any PFM tension, teaching breathing and relaxation strategies during discomfort, teaching you and/or your partner how to perform perineal massage, and providing advice on labour and positioning.
Advice for the postnatal period
- Our physiotherapists can provide information on perineal care with vaginal births and how to best look after yourself post-caesarean birth.
Common issues with pregnant women
- Pregnancy and physiotherapy after birth
- Pre and post-natal Pilates and exercise
- Continence issue
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Inflammatory breast conditions
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Obstetric anal sphincter injuries
Prompt to click in and find out more about fitMUM program
We have designed a program specifically for pregnant women and new mothers who have given birth within the first 3 years – Find out more