During pregnancy, the increases in abdominal weight can put pressure on the surrounding organs. For example, the increased pressure on the bladder can lead to increased urinary frequency, and sometimes even leakage. Strong pelvic floor muscles will help to reduce the risk of leakage, as they help to support the growing baby and stabilise the pelvis. Recent research recommends that women perform pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and after childbirth to prevent and treat pelvic floor problems.
Another common complaint in pregnancy is back or pelvic pain. This is largely due to the ligaments of your pelvis becoming more flexible to make room for the growing fetus. These pains often disappear after delivery, but in the interim, your physiotherapist at La Femme will provide hands-on treatment to reduce your pain and give you strategies of how to best manage your pain at home. At La Femme we also assess and treat the separation of stomach muscles, which can occur as your muscles stretch to accommodate the growing fetus during pregnancy.
Whilst childbirth is an amazing experience, factors such as a high birth weight baby (>4000g), the use of forceps, a long pushing stage, vaginal tearing and/or an episiotomy (surgical cut of the perineum) can cause pelvic floor problems. Research has shown that optimal maternal health and strong pelvic floor muscles will assist in your recovery following childbirth. In the case of pelvic floor injury, your physiotherapist at La Femme will provide you with individualised education, pelvic floor exercises and evidence-based treatment to assist you in making a full recovery.
Following childbirth women can experience neck or shoulder pain from breastfeeding or wrist or thumb pain from handling their baby. Your physiotherapist will treat these aches or pains to assist you in caring for your newborn baby.