Being pregnant, especially for the first time, is exciting, confusing and complicated! Your body goes through so many unique changes that it can be overwhelming.
Many of the women we see in our clinic post delivery don’t know that there are many options and avenues to prepare for the big day with pelvic floor physiotherapy treatment.
Here is an outline of how we help:
1. Assess your current pelvic health.
Both relaxing and contracting of the pelvic floor are important in day to day life but especially during delivery! If you get a baseline of where you are now you can work to improve your pelvic health for delivery and beyond.
- Do you need help learning how to relax the muscles of the pelvic floor?
- Do you need to strengthen your pelvic floor or work on endurance or coordination?
- Do you have any current pelvic issues, such as urinary frequency, incontinence, constipation, pain (in general or with sex)? If you do, unfortunately pregnancy can sometimes make these symptoms worse unless you work with a pelvic health physiotherapist!
2. Assess your general health & movement.
As your baby grows your centre of gravity changes very quickly! This can cause poor postural habits and sometimes make day to day activities hard and/or painful. The odd ache is normal to expect but you should NOT be feeling pain and discomfort in your back, legs, hips, pelvis on a regular basis. If you do, there are many treatment options to help.
3. Prevent issues from occurring.
- Learn to strengthen and/or relax your pelvic floor (as mentioned above) for delivery and life!
- Prevent pelvic floor symptoms during pregnancy (incontinence, prolapse, pain)
- Learn the best postures or techniques for exercise and day to day activities to feel your best!
- Learn general and/or specific exercises to help you move and feel your best and keep you strong and pain free now and post delivery.
4. Treat any current issues.
If you currently are experiencing incontinence, pelvic pain, back or hip pain during rest or during activities, we can address these issues and make you feel better!
5. Prepare for your Labour and Delivery.
We will show you techniques, exercises and positions to help prepare your body for delivery!
- During delivery your pelvic floor needs to be strong but also be able to relax and stretch – learn how to optimize your control.
- Bring your partner in to learn Partner massage: this is called perineal massage which is a type of massage your partner can do so you will have better outcomes during delivery with regards to tearing. Research shows starting around 34/35 weeks can help and we can teach you and your partner how to do effectively practice this preventative massage technique.
6. Get answers to all your questions!
Do you have questions about how your anatomy and physiology will change after you give birth? Do you questions regarding your pelvic health and sexual health that you want answered by a professional? Are you worried about what is normal pain and what isn’t? Each session you will have a chance to ask the questions that will help you understand and feel your very best.
For more information on pelvic health physiotherapy email our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Cassie Dionne, BPHE, MScPT.