Pregnancy and Physiotherapy
Pregnancy brings with it many changes including physical, physiological and hormonal. As your baby and body grow, there are shifts to your centre of gravity and weight. Even your joints become more flexible. All of these changes can bring with them new aches and pains, as well as many questions about how to protect your changing body and baby.
Guidelines in this area are usually separated into two categories; what is safe for the baby and what is safe for the mother. Some general recommendations include avoiding activities that may increase your risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Any activity that raises your core body temperature are also not recommended. This can include high intensity exercise, hot yoga, and spas, saunas and hot baths.
Activities that are safe for the mother focus on protecting your body from injury during each stage of pregnancy. For example, it is recommended to avoid heavy lifting, and learning to activate and strengthen your pelvic floor. As your pregnancy progresses, the hormone relaxin acts on your joints and ligaments to help them become more flexible. This means that your joints are a little less stable than usual, slightly increasing your risk of sprains or strains during exercise.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy is able to help you at every stage of your pregnancy with advice for pain management in labour and post-natal pelvic floor health. Finding the right physiotherapist with specialised training can be life changing for your long term pelvic floor health, helping to prevent incontinence.
Your physiotherapist is also able to help you treat back and pelvic pain that commonly arise during pregnancy. This can help to prepare you for birth and help to prevent ongoing back pain following the birth as your body readjusts.
This article is not intended to replace medical advice. Speak to your physiotherapist and medical practitioner for more information on how to stay fit, safe and healthy during your pregnancy.
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