A Guide to Pre and Post Natal Physiotherapy

physio Mooroolbark

Pregnancy is a time of great change and no two women will have the same pre or post natal experience. While some may be able to continue exercising as per normal in the lead up to their birth, others may be put on bed rest for months at a time.

Regardless of your pregnancy experience, Freedom Sports Medicine is here to help with tailored advice and exercise plans. Our highly trained physios in Mooroolbark understand that pregnancy is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience and are here to help you prepare and recover as best you can.

What to expect during pregnancy

Your body will experience a raft of changes throughout your pregnancy, from the moment you fall pregnant until the post-birth period. It’s important to note that you might experience all or none of these symptoms and that the same woman can experience different sets of symptoms between births.

During your first trimester, you may feel particularly tired and nauseous. It’s likely that your growing uterus will put pressure on your bladder, so you may feel the need to urinate more often. Your breasts may grow and feel tender and from a psychological perspective, it’s very common to experience mood swings.

The second trimester, which starts at week 13, usually sees a reduction in nausea symptoms. However, it’s not uncommon to experience Braxton Hicks contractions, dizziness, leg cramps, and back pain. A physiotherapist can help you deal with all of these issues.

By the time the third trimester comes around, your skin and ligaments will be continuing to stretch in order to accommodate your growing baby. There may be pain associated with this, which can be relieved via manual therapy. Heartburn, breathlessness, and urinary incontinence are all fairly common at this stage, as is increased anxiety associated with the thought of giving birth.

While a physiotherapist is not a psychologist, they can help you improve your confidence about labour. A physio can provide you with exercises to strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles and this increased preparedness may relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Pre natal physiotherapy

Whether you are a first-time mum or have already been through this process a few times, there are many strategies you can implement to help prepare for pregnancy. This is true whether you’re planning to have a vaginal birth or undergo a cesarean.

Many mothers want to keep active during their pregnancy. Engaging in regular physical activity is a great way of improving both your physical and mental health. However, it’s best to speak to a healthcare professional before starting or continuing any type of physical activity when pregnant. Whether or not an exercise is appropriate for you will depend on your unique situation. A physio in Mooroolbark can help with this or recommend that you speak to another type of medical professional, like your GP.

Other ways a physio can assist include:

  • Helping prevent and treat back pain
  • Providing exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor in preparation for labour
  • Organising group exercises classes tailored for pregnancy (yoga, pilates, water aerobics)
  • Providing manual therapy to help relieve muscular tension

Post natal physiotherapy

Post birth, there are a variety of issues you may suffer from. Some of these may improve naturally over time whilst certain symptoms may linger. A physio in Mooroolbark can help by:

  • Assessing abdominal and pelvic strength
  • Recommending simple exercises you can undertake to help strengthen abdominal and pelvic muscles
  • Diagnose and treat chronic pain disorders associated with pregnancy, including chronic pelvic pain, vulval conditions, incontinence, and prolapse
  • Advising on posture problems and how to best hold your baby to protect your own shoulders and back.
  • Recommend gentle, low-impact exercises you can start to regain cardiovascular fitness
  • Conducting bowel and bladder function screening
  • Help set goals for a return to exercise.

Freedom Sports Medicine — providing comprehensive patient care

Here at Freedom Sports Medicine, our trained and experienced team is on hand to help patients with all types of physical issues. Aside from our sports medicine services, we also provide general physiotherapy, podiatry, myotherapy and massage, strength and conditioning, clinical pilates, running assessments, shockwave therapy, dry needling, and more. If you’re in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and have been searching for a “sports physio near me” we can certainly assist.

Our healthcare team is passionate about helping our patients improve their overall health and wellbeing. We know that pregnancy is an exciting time but the changes your body goes through can result in uncomfortable, painful symptoms. We are proud to accompany you every step of the way, providing important pre and post-natal physiotherapy services to help you feel your best.

To learn more about our services, contact the friendly team at Freedom Sports Medicine today.

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