So, you’re pregnant and you’re wondering if physical therapy is safe during pregnancy?
The simple answer – yes!
I know you’re probably thinking physical therapy is only for people that have sport or accident-related injuries. That is totally not true. Physical therapy can really be for anyone who’s just trying to figure out and learn how their body moves and functions. So, preparing for one of the biggest physical tolls that can be done to a woman’s body (aka birth) is a great opportunity to prep, stretch, and strengthen all the muscles that will be involved in the birthing process.
But how exactly can physical therapy help you while you’re pregnant?
1. It can help with pregnancy-related pain
You got it. We’re talking low back pain, SI joint pain, pelvic pain, and any symphysis pubic dysfunction. This also includes neck and head pain like migraines or headaches. You do not have to go the whole pregnancy feeling uncomfortable! If you were able to eliminate or alleviate any of the discomfort, wouldn’t you do it?
2. It’s also an opportunity to assess the birth door
You can get assessed on your muscular function, strength, and movement. Your bones can also get looked at and how they’re moving. The bony alignment, the movement of the pelvis, and the pelvic floor muscles are also all checked when it comes to assessing the birth door when it comes to a vaginal birth.
3. Check out the uterine mobility
Finding out how your baby is sitting within your uterus can help prepare you to have a smoother birth.
4. Also, look at your basic body mechanics
That pre-existing lack of mobility can really take a toll on your body.
Take a look at your everyday posture, how you hold yourself, and your everyday functional activity. Are there some things that could be too straining for your body? Is there a better way to do the things you do everyday such as taking your shoes off, getting in and out of bed, or how you move around your work? Although these little, mundane movements seem minor they all add up and could be hurting your body more than helping it.
5. Get some exercise tips that fit your body’s needs
Women who exercise recover faster and lose their weight faster. They are at a reduced risk of problems during the pregnancy and their babies are healthier. –American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Exercise doesn’t just mean running or squats. Exercise can include movements that help with improving posture, flexibility, and overall just strengthening your body.
6. Lastly, it can educate you!
Like I said, physical therapy is for anyone who’s just trying to figure out and learn how their body moves and operates. A pregnant body is no different! Learn more about your body while pregnant to help your body, your birth, and your baby. Watch the video below for just one way in which a physical therapist may provide education for you to better prepare for birth.
Physical therapy during pregnancy is safe with a properly trained physical therapist.