By Miral Patel, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist at Yoga Mamas
The term pelvic floor physiotherapy is far more common these days than even just two years ago. More and more women are educating themselves and becoming aware of what the pelvic floor is, all its roles, and how it can be impacted during pregnancy and childbirth. The common misconception still remains that you should see a pelvic floor physiotherapist AFTER you’ve had children. Here are my top 5 reasons to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist during pregnancy and before babe arrives!
1. Strengthen the Pelvic Floor
During pregnancy, your pelvic floor goes through much stress with hormonal changes, postural changes and of course the added weight that rests on the pelvic floor. In order to avert the issues that come with stresses on the pelvic floor it’s important to strengthen and exercise these muscles. With strong muscles you can prevent common issues like urinary incontinence, low back pain, and hip pain during pregnancy.
2. Better outcomes
Generally, with most planned orthopaedic surgeries, clients are sent for “prehab” a term used for strengthening an area before surgery. Studies have shown that doing exercises or strengthening an area prior to surgery can improve the outcomes and make recovery much faster. The same principle applies to the pelvic floor. If you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles prior to stretching/straining/tearing them during delivery, your recovery can be better as well as faster.
3. Limit Trauma
A pelvic floor physiotherapist can work with you during your pregnancy to teach you ways to minimize injury to the pelvic floor during delivery. This consists of teaching perineal massage, going over positions to help open up the pelvis, practising how to push effectively and much more.
4. Easier before baby arrives
Coming for pelvic floor rehab postpartum is also highly recommended! A big challenge at that point is now you have a baby to bring along with you. Covering much of the education and exercises prior to delivery can decrease the number of visits you need to come in for postpartum when there is a new babe in the picture.
A pelvic floor physiotherapist provides you ample education on the birth process. They offer many ways to prepare for the birth and they also give you a better understanding of what to expect when the time comes. Going into a birth being prepared and well aware of your options and what to expect can most definitely increase your confidence and make you feel more secure about the birth of your babe.