What is prenatal & postpartum physiotherapy?
Many women experience an onset of back, hip or pelvic pain during pregnancy or following delivery. Our specially trained physiotherapists can assess, treat, and help you manage symptoms before, during, and pregnancy as well as prepare for labour and delivery.
Our physiotherapists can help you strengthen the pelvic floor to prevent common issues during pregnancy. These include urinary incontinence, low back pain, increased pelvic pressure and more.
Your Changing Body, During & After Pregnancy
This is the result of the many hormonal changes that take place in the body throughout pregnancy and afterwards, as well as the laxity of the ligaments and the changes in posture due to weight gain during pregnancy.
In addition, second or subsequent pregnancies can mean added stress and strain on the joints for women who are also caring for and lifting young toddlers day to day.
Common Pregnancy & Post-Delivery Issues
- Numb, tingling, painful hands & fingers
- Swollen ankles & varicose veins
- Weakened abdominal muscles
- Blocked breast ducts
- Pelvic misalignment
- Joint pain
- Chronic back and/or pelvic pain
Physiotherapy Can Help
If you are experiencing any of the above problems either during or after your pregnancy, physiotherapy can help. Treatment will begin with a detailed evaluation to determine the problems contributing to your pain/dysfunction. There are a variety of ways that physiotherapists can help expectant mothers prepare for labour and delivery, make the process safer and healthier, and help them heal afterwards. These generally fall into two categories:
Labour & Delivery Prep
- Maintaining pelvic alignment and symmetry during pregnancy and delivery to reduce potential pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain.
- Perineal care and stretching to help prepare the vaginal connective tissue and pelvic floor muscles for delivery in order to prevent or minimize tearing.
- Strengthening and lengthening the pelvic floor muscle to improve continence and mobility, and minimize pain.
- Optimizing birthing positions to make sure there's as much room as possible for the baby as it makes its way through the birth canal.
- Minimizing the pain of existing musculoskeletal conditions that may be exacerbated by pregnancy, labour or delivery.
- Educating mothers-to-be about pain and pain management, and discussing their fears, concerns and goals for labour, to help settle anxiety and stress.
Post delivery reconditioning involves safely and progressively returning to pre-pregnancy and/or delivery function for the various body parts most affected by pregnancy, labour and delivery.
An active core strengthening program, including specific pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises will be provided for those experiencing back/pelvic dysfunction, to ensure that you recover the necessary strength needed to meet the multiple demands of motherhood.
Your therapist will educate you on how to alleviate pain and discomfort through positioning, posture, or the use of taping or pelvic supports. Additional treatments may include heat, myofascial release, acupuncture, massage, stretches and joint mobilizations.
Are you pregnant or having postpartum issues?
With our focus on women's health, our specially trained physiotherapists can address pregnancy-related issues, delivery preparation, and postpartum recovery.