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Agape Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor Physical Therapy during Pregnancy - How can it help? The 4 P’s

One of the most common statements I hear from moms that have gone through pregnancy is 
“I should have come earlier!” So why are pregnant mamas not coming in for pelvic floor physical therapy?

Worried about safety during pregnancy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a completely safe therapy to partake in during pregnancy. Think about it this way – you are still able to/allowed to have intercourse while pregnant, so why not have someone testing out your pelvic floor whilst pregnant! You can start as early as the first trimester!

Why Physical therapy? Am I allowed to exercise? Should I stop?

Being active throughout your pregnancy is a great way to maintain strength and flexibility, and also to prevent injury. Although, a physical therapist can instruct you on safe and appropriate exercises that you can participate in and educate you on movements and/or activities that you may want to modify as your pregnancy progresses. 

What are the benefits of physical therapy during pregnancy? 

There are many benefits to seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist during pregnancy – continue reading this blog and learn more about the 4 P’s below!

How pelvic floor physical therapy can benefit the pregnant mom; the 4 P’s

Preventative 
  • Contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles correctly 
  • Prevent prolapse and/or urinary incontinence 
  • Education on proper posture and technique with activities of daily living to help prevent injury and discomfort during pregnancy (ie. proper lifting technique, getting in and out of a car, sleeping positions)
  • Strategies for a better night’s sleep 
  • Activities and strategies to prevent Diastasis Recti (abnormal abdominal separation)
Physical Exercise 
  • Safe exercises 
  • Proper breathing during exercise
  • Postural education “Mommy Posture”
Pain
  • Treatment of lower back or hip pain during pregnancy 
  • Treatment of pelvic pain during pregnancy
  • Addressing and treatment of postural pain 
Preparation for Labour
  • Education on different birthing positions that may be best for you and your pelvic floor 
  • Breathing and pelvic floor relaxation strategies 
  • Perineum stretching (manual tissue work) 
  • Exercises to promote hip opening and core strengthening
  • Strategies on how to ‘push’ properly 

The 4 P’s outline the main reasons why pelvic floor physical therapy can benefit our pregnant mamas! If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or just looking for a way to prepare your body for an optimal birth, be sure to consult a pelvic floor physical therapist (like me!). Through a careful and detailed assessment, externally and internally, pelvic floor physical therapists can provide you with the confidence, education, and exercise to ensure a more pain-free pregnancy and optimal birth and labor experience.

References
Faghani, Nelly, and Carolyn Vandyken. Level 1: The Physical Therapy Approach to Female and Male Urinary Incontinence. Pelvic Health Solutions, 2017.
Faghani, Nelly, and Carolyn Vandyken. Pregnancy and the Pelvic Floor. Pelvic Health Solutions, 2017
Nabila Jutha, PT
Women's Health Therapist
[email protected]
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