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5 Reasons to see a Physical Therapist on your Pregnancy and Post Partum Journey

5 Reasons to see a Physical Therapist on your Pregnancy and Post Partum Journey

by Corley McBeth, PT, DPT

Why should you include a Physical Therapist in your pregnancy and postpartum journey?  Here’s 5 important reasons:

  1. Seeing a physical therapist at the beginning of your pregnancy (or even before a positive pregnancy test) can be helpful in establishing a baseline and making sure you have the tools you need for a strong and healthy pregnancy
    • Your physical therapist can make recommendations and adjustments to your current exercise routine (or help you safely get started!)
    • Your physical therapist can help you develop good postural habits and strategies to reduce potential aches and pains later
    • If you have concerns regarding diastasis recti (i.e. abdominal separation, which is common & normal during pregnancy), your PT can measure and monitor the progression
  2. Pregnancy related pain is treatable through physical therapy
    • During pregnancy, you might experience pain in the hips, low back, and pelvic girdle
    • This is common because of the ligamentous laxity that results from hormonal changes, and because your center of gravity and body mass are changing
    • Any muscle weakness or joint dysfunction that you had coming into the pregnancy makes it harder for you to meet the increased demands of your changing body
    • Your physical therapist can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to keep you feeling your best
  3. It is better to address symptoms of urinary incontinence (the dreaded leaking) sooner rather than later
    • Preventing or improving upon leaking before childbirth can reduce the potential for problems postpartum – women who have stress urinary incontinence during pregnancy are at risk for the incontinence to continue postpartum
    • Your physical therapist can help you retrain the pelvic floor muscles and incorporate better strategies for core stability (breathing is key!)
  4. Exercise during pregnancy is healthy
    • Your physical therapist can help guide you in terms of what you can safely do
    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes of moderate- intensity exercise most days of the week throughout pregnancy
    • Your physical therapist can teach you proper body mechanics as well as appropriate exercises for core and back strengthening
  5. Every woman should have a physical therapy pelvic health checkup postpartum
    • Physical therapists have the skills to examine, test, and find what activities you are capable of doing to allow for safe return to prior level of exercise and activity
    • Your body is recovering from a major event and progressing gradually is important to allow the tissues appropriate time to adapt
    • You can talk with your physical therapist if you have concerns about prolapse or symptoms of heaviness, pressure, or discomfort in your pelvis
    • Your physical therapist can also assist with positioning recommendations for breastfeeding and baby carrying/holding

 

Corley McBeth, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and certified Personal Trainer at Movement Systems Physical Therapy who specializes in injury rehabilitation and improving athletic performance of individuals from all levels to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.