Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive care and support to the perinatal population, encompassing both the prenatal and postnatal stages. During the prenatal period, expecting mothers undergo numerous physical and hormonal changes that can lead to discomfort and pain. Physiotherapy interventions tailored for pregnant women focus on promoting physical well-being, relieving pain, and enhancing overall health and fitness.
One key benefit of physiotherapy during pregnancy is the effective management of musculoskeletal issues. With specialized techniques and exercises, we can target common pregnancy-related discomfort such as back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and sciatica. By teaching proper posture and body mechanics, as well as prescribing safe exercises, physiotherapy empowers pregnant women to stay active and maintain optimal physical function throughout their pregnancy. As well, physiotherapists can offer much advice on preparation for labour and delivery including breathing techniques, positioning for pain relief and proper muscle recruitment and relaxation.
Postnatally, physiotherapy plays a vital role in supporting women during the recovery period following childbirth. The body goes through significant changes during pregnancy and birth, resulting in weakened core muscles, pelvic floor dysfunction, and diastasis recti (abdominal separation). Physiotherapy helps to address these issues through tailored exercises that focus on core stability, pelvic floor muscle training, and retraining movements and postures. This holistic approach aids in restoring optimum function and alleviating pains associated with childbirth.
In addition to addressing physical discomfort, physiotherapy also provides essential guidance on safe and effective postnatal exercises, facilitating a smooth and safe transition to regular physical activity. Moreover, our physiotherapists can educate new mothers on the significance of self-care, including proper lifting techniques, posture correction, and ergonomics, to prevent future musculoskeletal issues as well as pelvic floor pathologies such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapses!
Previously, physiotherapy was often recommended only for women experiencing issues. However, the benefits of perinatal physiotherapy for ALL WOMEN is now being recognized internationally and in some countries there is a physiotherapist in every birthing room! Here at Performance, we recommend a minimum of one appointment in the second trimester and our 6 week e-course entitled Baby Belly (link to poster on program page) to prepare for late pregnancy, labour and delivery. We like to check in with you virtually within one to two weeks after baby is born to ensure all is going well and definitely want to see all moms in person for a 6 week post partum follow up. At this appointment we will do a vaginal exam to assess your pelvic floor health as well as have a look at your abdominal muscles via ultrasound to evaluate how well your diastasis recti is healing. Following the examination we will be able to offer you individualized advice on returning to a healthy and active post natal lifestyle.