Posted By Dr Radhika
Are you an expecting mother who wants to ensure a smooth and comfortable pregnancy journey? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide on pelvic floor physiotherapy during pregnancy, we will explore the importance of this specialized treatment and how it can benefit you.
Understanding the Pelvic Floor and its Importance During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative time in a woman’s life, but it also brings about various changes in the body. One area that undergoes significant changes during this period is the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus, and they play a crucial role in maintaining core stability and overall well-being.
During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts increased pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, causing them to stretch and weaken. This can lead to various issues such as pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and even pelvic organ prolapse. It is important for expecting mothers to understand the significance of the pelvic floor and take proactive measures to care for it.
Common Pelvic Floor Issues During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can bring about several common pelvic floor issues that can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. One of the most common issues is pelvic pain, which can manifest as a dull ache or sharp pain in the pelvic region. This can be caused by the increased pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and hormonal changes.
Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary leakage of urine, is another common pelvic floor issue during pregnancy. The growing uterus can put pressure on the bladder, leading to stress incontinence, where urine leaks during activities such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing. This can be embarrassing and affect a woman’s confidence.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where one or more pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, descend into the vaginal canal. This can cause discomfort, pain, and a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area. Pregnancy and childbirth can increase the risk of pelvic organ prolapse due to the strain placed on the pelvic floor muscles.
Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy During Pregnancy
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a non-invasive and highly effective treatment that can alleviate and prevent common pelvic floor issues during pregnancy. By working with a skilled pelvic floor physiotherapist, you can learn exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles, ensuring a more comfortable and healthier pregnancy.
One of the key benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy is the reduction of pelvic pain. Through targeted exercises and manual therapy, a physiotherapist can help relieve tension in the pelvic floor muscles and improve blood flow to the area. This can significantly reduce discomfort and improve overall well-being.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is also effective in addressing urinary incontinence. A physiotherapist can teach you techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can help control bladder function and reduce episodes of leakage. This can have a positive impact on your daily activities and improve your confidence and quality of life.
Another important benefit of pelvic floor physiotherapy is the prevention and management of pelvic organ prolapse. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, you can provide better support to the pelvic organs, reducing the risk of prolapse. Even if you already have pelvic organ prolapse, physiotherapy can help manage the condition and alleviate symptoms.
When Should You Consider Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can be beneficial for all pregnant women, regardless of whether they are experiencing specific issues or not. It is recommended to consider pelvic floor physiotherapy if you:
- Are experiencing pelvic pain or discomfort during pregnancy.
- Are leaking urine or experiencing urinary incontinence.
- Have a history of pelvic floor issues or pelvic organ prolapse.
- Want to proactively care for your pelvic floor and prevent potential issues.
It is never too early or too late to start pelvic floor physiotherapy. Ideally, it is best to begin during the early stages of pregnancy to optimize the benefits. However, even if you are in the later stages of pregnancy, it is still beneficial to seek treatment and learn techniques to support your pelvic floor health.
What to Expect during a pelvic floor physiotherapy session
A pelvic floor physiotherapy session typically begins with a thorough assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. The physiotherapist will ask you about your medical history, pregnancy journey, and any specific concerns or issues you may be experiencing. They may also perform an internal examination to assess the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor muscles.
Based on the assessment, the physiotherapist will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This may include a combination of exercises, stretches, and manual therapy techniques to address your pelvic floor issues. The physiotherapist will guide you through each exercise and ensure proper technique and form.
It is important to communicate openly with your physiotherapist during the session. They will be able to provide guidance, answer any questions you may have, and make adjustments to your treatment plan as needed. Remember, pelvic floor physiotherapy is a collaborative process, and your active participation is crucial for optimal results.
Pelvic floor exercises for pregnant women
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, are a key component of pelvic floor physiotherapy during pregnancy. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, helping to strengthen and improve their function. Here are some simple pelvic floor exercises you can practice:
Kegels: Contract the pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. Hold the contraction for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times, several times a day.
Elevator exercises: Imagine your pelvic floor muscles as an elevator. Slowly contract and lift the muscles from the ground floor to the first floor, then the second floor, and so on. Hold each floor for a few seconds, then relax and lower the muscles back down. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
Bridge pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your hips off the ground, engaging your pelvic floor muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your hips back down. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
Remember to breathe deeply and relax your body during these exercises. It is important to perform them correctly to maximize their effectiveness. If you are unsure about the proper technique or have any concerns, consult with a pelvic floor physiotherapist for guidance.
Tips for maintaining a healthy pelvic floor during pregnancy
In addition to pelvic floor physiotherapy, there are several lifestyle changes and habits you can adopt to maintain a healthy pelvic floor during pregnancy. Here are some tips to consider:
Stay active: Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga. Exercise helps improve blood circulation, strengthen muscles, and maintain overall pelvic floor health.
Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Aim to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Practice good posture: Avoid slouching or sitting for extended periods. Maintain good posture by sitting up straight, aligning your spine, and avoiding excessive strain on the pelvic floor.
Avoid constipation: Constipation can put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Stay hydrated, eat a fiber-rich diet, and engage in regular exercise to promote healthy bowel movements.
Practice relaxation techniques: Stress and tension can contribute to pelvic floor issues. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or prenatal yoga to reduce stress and promote relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy after childbirth
The benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy extend beyond pregnancy. After childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles may be weakened or damaged, and it is important to rehabilitate them for optimal recovery. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help address issues such as postpartum urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and pelvic organ prolapse.
Your physiotherapist will assess your pelvic floor muscles and create a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs. The exercises and techniques may differ from those during pregnancy, as the focus will be on recovery and rehabilitation. It is important to continue with pelvic floor physiotherapy after childbirth to support your long-term pelvic floor health.
Finding a qualified pelvic floor physiotherapist
With over two decades of experience, Denison Rehabilitation Clinic in Ontario, Canada, stands as a beacon of expertise and commitment to enhancing spinal health and posture. Our unique approach combines traditional chiropractic treatment with active rehabilitation, ergonomic assessment, and wellness practices. While we prioritize maintaining the spine’s three balanced curves, we also recognize the crucial role of optimal pelvic alignment in promoting overall well-being.
As part of our comprehensive services, Denison Rehabilitation Clinic proudly offers specialized Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. Our skilled therapists conduct thorough internal and external examinations, assess muscle tone, and provide tailored treatments, including pelvic floor muscle training, biofeedback, manual therapy, and electrical stimulation.
Embark on a journey towards improved pelvic health by choosing Denison Rehabilitation Clinic. Our dedicated healthcare professionals are committed to delivering personalized care and education in a supportive and welcoming environment. Whether you’re seeking relief during pregnancy or addressing other pelvic health concerns, our clinic is equipped to meet your needs.
Take the first step towards a healthier you:
- Schedule a Consultation: Contact us to book a consultation and discuss your specific needs with our experienced pelvic floor physiotherapists.
- Verify Credentials: Ensure the qualifications and certifications of our physiotherapists meet your standards for specialized pelvic floor health expertise.
- Read Reviews: Explore online reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the expertise and patient satisfaction we provide.
Invest in your well-being with Denison Rehabilitation Clinic – where experience, expertise, and personalized care converge for a healthier, more balanced you. Schedule your consultation today and take the first step towards optimal pelvic health.