5 Reasons To See A Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Before Or During Pregnancy
As the field of pelvic floor physiotherapy gets more and more attention, I’m constantly asked by my clients why this information isn’t part of our regular health care, and why we aren’t more preventative in this field! Historically, physiotherapy is very reactive in nature, in that you hurt yourself, so you go for treatment. This is true of pelvic floor physio as well in that many people still think that they should only go once they have had a baby and are now experiencing issues (incontinence, pain, prolapse, etc.). I have such a passion for treating this population because we can be more preventative in nature and my women tend to heal much faster post-partum!
Here are my top 5 reasons to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist before pregnancy or during!
1. LEARN TO PUSH. Most women think that when the time comes, it will be second nature on how to push their babe out. This is so far from true! A lot of women I see actually contract their pelvic floor when cued to push, which is the opposite of what we want! If women can be taught how to push properly before delivery they can practice, making the brain-muscle connection that much stronger, and hopefully leading to shorter pushing times!
2. TRAIN YOUR CORE. Many women are worried about getting diastasis recti during their pregnancy. Hate to break it to you – but this WILL happen in pregnancy (see my first blog post on the topic). It’s all about how well these muscles come back together post-partum. The best thing that can be done is recruitment of these muscles throughout pregnancy as they are being stretched out.
3. TRAIN YOUR PELVIC FLOOR. Like the core, if the pelvic floor muscles can be recruited properly throughout pregnancy, as babe grows and more pressure and weight are put on the pelvic floor, then the muscles will be in a better state post-partum.
4. DELIVERY TIPS & TRICKS. What we see in the movies is ALL WRONG! There are certain things we can do that anatomically make the most sense for getting babe out quickly and healthy. I like to focus on spine and hip positioning, as well as discussing different options for delivery positions!
5. PERINEAL HEALTH. I strongly encourage women to do perineal massage before delivery. There is no direct correlation that doing massage will mean there won’t be tearing, but it makes so much sense! All our tissues are elastic in nature and will stretch and recoil within their limits. However, when they hit their limit is when they will tear. Gradually stretching this tissue over weeks leading up to delivery can increase its elastic properties and potentially limit the chance of tearing!