Pregnant and Post-Natal Women
At Innovations Pelvic Health Physiotherapy we are very experienced in helping pregnant women and women who have just had a baby manage their ever changing bodies. Going through pregnancy places a huge stress on our bodies and it is important that we look after it when we are pregnant and throughout our post-natal period.
At Innovations Pelvic Health Physiotherapy we are baby and child friendly. We are more than happy for you to bring your little one or ones with you to your appointment.
At Innovations Pelvic Health Physiotherapy we are able to address the following issues:
Pelvic Girdle Pain
Pelvic girdle pain is unfortunately a very common issue faced by many pregnant women. Pain can present at the back of your pelvis, at the front pf your pelvis (otherwise know as public symphysis dysfunction or internally within your pelvis.
This pain can be very debilitating and can unfortunately significantly restrict a pregnant ladies physical activity. This isn’t something that you just have to live with. Physiotherapy can help by treating your pelvis, adjusting some of your daily activities to minimise the load through your pelvis and provide you with some self management strategies to help.
Back and Neck Pain
Back and neck pain is common during pregnancy and during the post natal period. During this time we completely change the way our body is being used. We put our body in positions that it isn’t used to and unfortunately the result of this is that we can experience neck and back pain. On top of this change in the way we are using our bodies our core and pelvic floor muscles are generally not as strong as they used to be.
Targeted physiotherapy to address all of the contributing factors that are causing your back and neck pain can result in a significant reduction in your pain.
We do also have Post-Natal Pilates classes that maybe appropriate for you to attend if you wish. During these classes you are able to bring your little one with you until they are at an age that they can move around.
Stomach Muscle Separation (Rectus Abdominis Diastasis)
Did you know that many women experience a separation of their stomach muscles (rectus abdominis) during their pregnancy. A small amount of separation is normal however some women experience a large separation and consequently theses muscles may struggle to come back together. The main issue with this is that our abdominal muscles help to stabilise our spine and if the connection between these muscles is compromised this can then result back pain and poor posture.
You maybe thinking “How can I help these muscles come back together?” Well this is a very good question. There is a lot that we can do to facilitate this process.
- Provide advice on activities and exercises that provide too much load through this separation
- Discuss compression garments that help to promote the recovery of this
- Prescribe a personalised exercise program to help promote this recovery
Perineal Tear and Episiotomy care
Unfortunately in some cases during labour a perineal tear occurs or an episiotomy is required to help the baby out.
Risk factors include:
- Assisted delivery with either forceps or vacuum
- Larger baby – greater than 4kg
- Fast Labour
- Having an epidural
There are varying degrees of perineal tearing and consequently there is varying degrees of issues that are associated with this injury.
Common issues post perineal tears and episiotomy:
- Painful sex
- Painful urination or defecation
- Perineal pain with sitting
- Leaking urine with coughing or sneezing or on the way to the toilet
- Unable to control wind
- Having to rush to the toilet to go
We can help by completing a thorough Pelvic floor assessment, developing an individualised treatment plan, scar management and desensitisation of perineal area.
Mastitis or Blocked Ducts
Unfortunately many women experience mastitis or blocked ducts while breast feeding. It is a blocking and potential infection of your milk ducts. It can be extremely painful and when develops into an infection can give you flu like symptoms. Most of the time blocked ducts will clear by themselves. It is important to continue to breastfeed on that side to try to clear the blockage.
However, sometimes you need a little extra care to clear these ducts. Ultrasound therapy administered by a physiotherapist can help to clear these ducts. Often it only takes us a couple of sessions to give you significant relief.
Generalised Pelvic Floor Weakness
It is so important for us to perform pelvic floor muscle exercises throughout and after our pregnancies – regardless of if we deliver vaginally or via caesarean. During pregnancy these muscles are having to support the weight of the baby inside you. this constant load can weaken our muscles. If you experience any episodes of leakage of urine during your pregnancy it is even more important to do these exercises.
Pregnancy can result in an increase likelihood of developing bladder leakage or prolapse in the future – even if you aren’t experiencing any issues currently. If you deliver vaginally this risk increases again. Even more reason to do pelvic floor exercises during and after our pregnancies.
Did you know that about 50% of the population can not contract their Pelvic Floor Muscles correctly even after verbal or written instruction. It is so important to be taught how to do these exercises correctly. At Innovations Pelvic Health Physiotherapy we are able to thoroughly assess your pelvic floor muscles, teach you how to correctly activate these muscles and prescribe an individualised strength program for you. This will help you to recover fully from having your baby.
We recommend that every pregnant lady attends a Post-Natal Physiotherapy Assessment at about 4-6 weeks after giving birth.
Post-Natal Physiotherapy Assessment
- We offer a Post-Natal Assessment for women who have recently given birth.
- We recommend that ALL women attend a Post-Natal Physiotherapy Assessment 4-6 weeks after giving birth. This is the optimal time for the Assessment however you may attend one up to a year after giving birth.
- During this assessment we will:
- Measure your Abdominal Separation
- Real Time Ultrasound Assessment of Core Muscle Strength and Functionality
- Thorough Pelvic Floor Muscle assessment
- Pelvic Assessment – Assessment of the Position of your Pelvic Bones including Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) and Pubic Symphysis
- Prescription of appropriate exercises to address muscle weakness (usually Core and Pelvic Floor)
- Advice on return to exercise and pre-pregnancy activities
Real Time Ultrasound: We have a Real Time Ultrasound to assist in the rehabilitation of your CORE muscles after birth. The Real Time Ultrasound will allow you to see your muscles on an ultrasound screen (just like your pregnancy scans) which will assist you in activating the correct muscles. By visualising these muscles it provides great feedback to you and will assist you greatly in regaining their strength.
We offer Post-Natal Pilates at Innovations Sports Physiotherapy.
There are many restrictions placed on the types of exercise suitable for Post-Natal women. Our specific Post-Natal Pilates Classes are a very safe and effective way of recommencing exercise. We are also able to provide you with advice on other forms of exercise that may be suitable for you to be doing in conjunction with our classes.
It is essential after you give birth to your child that you perform exercises that strengthen the muscles of your CORE and PELVIC FLOOR.
- These classes are designed specially for Post-Natal Mums.
- These classes are taken by a very experienced physiotherapist who understands the struggle many women face trying to regain control of their core and pelvic floor.
- You are able to bring your baby along to the class. However, once your baby is on the move it might be time to find alternate arrangements for your baby.
Benefits of Post Natal Pilates
- Regain control of your Core and Pelvic Floor Muscles.
- Begin to increase your overall strength
- Improve your flexibility
- Prepare your body for aerobic and high impact exercise
- Prevent or manage incontinence issues
- Assist in the treatment of Rectus Diastasis (also known as Abdominal Separation)
Before you start Post-Natal Pilates we require you to attend a Pilates Assessment. This will enable us to check for abdominal muscle separation (Rectus Diastasis), teach you how to activate your core and pelvic floor muscles correctly and will allow us to take some baseline objective measures.
SRC Pregnancy and Recovery Shorts
We are very excited to stock the SRC Pregnancy and Recovery Shorts.
SRC Pregnancy Shorts: These are fantastic for the management of Pelvic Pain during pregnancy.
SRC Recovery Shorts: These amazing shorts will help you recover faster post birth. They provide support to your abdominal area which can assist in reducing back pain and abdominal separation. They will also provide medical grade compression to you C-section and perineal area to assist in healing.