The Body, Pregnancy, and Physical Therapy
With pregnancy, the body experiences many changes, including postural adjustments, increased load on the pelvic floor, and stretching and thickening of the ligaments. Changes such as these can cause back pain and pelvic floor issues. Muscle weakness may also lead to urinary incontinence and difficulty activating core muscles. Though these are some of the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal treatments can help your body better prepare for the journey ahead. At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, we integrate techniques such as massage therapy, core strengthening, and pelvic floor therapy to help make your pregnancy and delivery process as smooth as possible.
During the delivery process, you may need to undergo a procedure that might result in a scar, such as a C-section or an episiotomy. These can cause restrictions in the myofascial (create link to myofascial or manual therapy page) system of the body leading to pain with intercourse and daily activities. We use specific myofascial and scar-release techniques to eliminate these restrictions and prevent your myofascial system from being further compromised.
The pelvic floor muscle is an integral part of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Not only does it supporting the baby during pregnancy and separate to allow the baby through with delivery, but this muscle is vital for support of the pelvic organs and continence throughout the lifespan. Without proper rehab, that muscle often does not recover on its own leading to issues with leaking with activities such as jumping and running. If not properly addressed in the postpartum phase, prolapse and leaking can result later in life, too.
Some women might also suffer from diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation. Diastasis recti can interfere with the strengthening of the abdomen muscles and cause the belly to “pooch.” Our therapists use the latest evidence-based clinical knowledge in the field to identify and treat this condition.
In June of 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) put out a statement encouraging better care of mothers in the "fourth trimester" or the first 12 weeks postpartum. Furthermore, they recommended physical therapy be closer to the frontlines of care in the phases. At FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, we are the only clinic in the Tristate area that specializes in treatment of mothers in pregnancy and postpartum. We recommend that every woman seek physical therapy 6-8 weeks postpartum for the assessment of the pelvic floor mobility, strength, and function, as well as assessment of diastasis recti. We also focus on education in relation to pain with intercourse and incontinence.
You do not need to suffer before or after delivery. Contact FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers today to schedule an appointment, and we will create a plan to help you along your pregnancy. By including physical therapy in your prenatal and postnatal care, you can be better prepared for one of the biggest challenges in a woman’s life: delivering and caring for a baby.