Physiotherapy during pregnancy can be useful for remedying common discomforts like back pain, or for enhancing your body’s ability to have a smoother pregnancy and birth. Talk to your health care provider and midwife to incorporate Karaka Physiotherapy & Pilates into your prenatal care programme.
The physical changes to a women’s body as related to pregnancy are multiple. The centre of mass changes, there is more pressure on the organs, and there is increased weight to be carried. All of this in a relatively short span of time often leads to back pain, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. In fact, over two thirds of pregnant women experience back pain, one fifth experience pelvic pain and over 40% experience urinary incontinence in their first pregnancy – with half remaining incontinent at 8 weeks post-partum, and one third experiencing a new onset of incontinence after childbirth.
Evidence shows that group training programmes designed and delivered by physiotherapists can relieve lower back pain, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence in pregnant women.
How can a physiotherapist help pregnant women?
It is within the scope of practice of a physiotherapist to properly assess, treat and educate pregnant women in effective and safe exercises that have been shown to decrease back pain, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence – throughout their pregnancy and post-partum.
A good physiotherapist delivered program for pregnant women would;
- Screen patients to ensure they could safely participate in an exercise programme;
- Assess patients for posture, strength, flexibility, balance as well as any musculoskeletal issues that could have a bearing on pregnancy;
- Instruct patients on how to perform exercises safely and effectively;
- Utilize an individualized approach – even in a group setting;
- Enable group discussion and education regarding pre and post natal issues.
The goal of such a program would be to offer women improved prenatal fitness – that would lead to a healthier and easier pregnancy and delivery. A good program would also offer an integrated approach to health care – and share detailed assessment findings with the participant’s primary and pregnancy health care providers. As well, for women who are experiencing a high risk pregnancy, private sessions should be arranged with strict observa-tion of the health care provider’s restrictions with a focus on maintaining the pelvic floor and alleviating pain.