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Physiotherapy in pregnancy and post-nataly

 

Pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal period can be an incredibly exciting time but also a time where significant physical demands (and let's not forget emotional and social demands) are imposed on pregnant women and new mums.

 

All of our pregnancy and post natal services have been developed in line with our knowledge and training in the specific changes that happen to the body during the childbearing years and management of common problems that may affect women. We aim to help you maintain optimal physical function throughout your pregnancy, to assist with safe return to your pre-pregnancy exercise/activities and to help treat and prevent problems such as pelvic pain, back pain, abdominal muscle separation, incontinence and prolapse.

Physiotherapy in Pregnancy

 

During pregnancy women will experience changes to their posture, weight distribution and increased joint laxity, and significant demands are placed on the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

 

Pregnancy related conditions that our physiotherapists commonly see include pelvic girdle pain (sacroiliac joint pain at the back of the pelvis and pubic symphysis pain at the front), back pain, wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

We use a variety of treatment techniques to address your individual problem. This may include hands-on techniques, specific exercises and prescription of support garments/braces where needed. We are focused on education and empowering our patients to manage their condition. We can give advice on preparing the pelvic floor for birth (activation and relaxation and perineal massage) and helpful infomation on how to assist recovery immediately after your baby's delivery. 

 

 

Physiotherapy after delivering your baby

 

Being pregnant and delivering a baby is hard work! It's important to listen to your body and remember that all women recover differently. Some women seem to bounce back to their pre baby physical condition and exercise. Other women struggle with problems such as pelvic floor pain and dysfunction, incontinence, abdominal muscle seperation, back pain and mastitis. Some conditions we commonly see in new mums include;

 

  • Abdominal muscle separation (rectus diastasis or DRAM).

  • Pelvic floor problems following birth related trauma to the pelvic floor, pelvic and sexual pain, incontinence and prolapse.

  • Wrist pain and "Mummy thumb"

  • Back and pelvic pain

  • Physiotherapy for breast conditions in lactating mums (including blocked ducts and inflammatory mastitis). 

Physiotherapy Post Natal Check

 

We have developed our Physiotherapy Post Natal Check to focus in on all aspects of a new mum's physical wellbeing. We aim to help women avoid common new mum aches and pains, advise them on how to progress back into their normal exercise/activities safely and ensure they get their abdominal and pelvic floor muscles activating correctly to treat or PREVENT future problems.

 

Depending on your individual needs, the comprehensive physiotherapy consultation may include:

 

  • Pelvic floor muscle assessment

  • Prolapse assessment, treatment and prevention advice

  • Incontinence assessment, treatment and prevention advice

  • Bowel care advice

  • Musculoskeletal assessment 

  • Assessment of abdominal muscle separation (rectus diastasis) and the ability to activate the deep abdominal or "core" muscles using real time ultrasound.

  • Prescription of individualised home exercises based on the physical assessment results

  • Advice regarding safe return to exercise

  • Posture and positioning advice in relation to new mum demands such as breast/bottle feeding and lifting/carrying

  • Advice regarding prevention of common post-natal conditions such as "mummy's thumb"

  • Fitting of SRC recovery shorts or an abdominal binder (as required)

 

We recommend that you book in for this consultation following your 6 week check with your GP or Obstetrician, however it would still be relevant and beneficial up to one year following the birth of your baby. 

 

When you speak to our receptionist, please ensure you specifically ask to be booked in for a "Post Natal Check". This will ensure you are booked in with the correct therapist. 

 

 

Pregnancy Exercise Classes

 

These classes have been designed by our physio's specifically for the pregnant body, taking into account the body's physiological changes in pregnancy, contraindications to exercise and preparation for the physical demands of labour and caring for a newborn.

 

Small class numbers (maximum 8) and supervision by a Physiotherapist trained in women's health ensure that exercises are performed safely and effectively. Exercises will be modified (as required) for women experiencing pregnancy related problems such as pelvic girdle pain and wrist pain. 

Our classes also involve an educational component where we discuss topics such as active labour, perineal massage and the importance of learning how to relax the pelvic floor muscles during the final stage of labour.  

Exercise goals include;

  • Strengthening the muscles that provide support and stability to the spine and pelvis

  • Improving posture and whole body alignment

  • Increasing spinal and rib cage mobility

  • Stretching tight muscles

  • Learning to activate and relax the pelvic floor muscles

  • Breathing and relaxation

 

These classes are suitable for women to join at any stage of pregnancy.

 

If you've experienced any complications during your pregnancy (or if you just want to check that you are safe to participate) you may need Medical Clearance from your Obstetrician, midwife or GP prior to commencing classes.

 

Download Medical Clearance Form here

 

Provided all is going well, you can attend classes right up until the birth of your baby.

 

Please click on this link to view our current class schedule

 

Mums and Bubs Exercise Classes

 

Our Mums and Bubs classes are designed and run by our Physiotherapists who are specifically trained in women’s health Physiotherapy.

We recognise that every new mum has had a different pregnancy, a different birth experience, different levels of pre pregnancy fitness and different rates of recovery after having their baby. Some women experience significant trauma to their pelvic floor during delivery and others will have a large rectus diastasis (abdominal muscles separation). Based on all these factors, our Physio's modify exercises for individual mums as required during the class.

Our classes are aimed at;

 

  • Regaining overall muscle tone and strength after birth

  • Activating the deep abdominal muscles, essential for supporting the back and pelvis but also for reducing abdominal muscles separation. 

  • Activating and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles

  • Posture correction

  • Stretching and releasing of sore and tight muscles and joints 

  • Preparing and strengthening the body for return to more intensive exercise such as running

You can start these classes following your 6 week check with your GP or Obstetrician.

Please click on this link to view our current class schedule

 

Babies

 

Babies get to participate in our Mums and Bubs classes, working on age appropriate milestones such as tummy time and rolling while mum exercises (or they can sleep in their pram... we just go with what works for each baby).

Babies can continue to attend with their mums until they are proficiently mobile when it becomes a safety risk for them to keep coming. Mums can continue to attend our post-natal classes for as long as required (even if their baby is no longer able to attend).

 

Our clinic has lift access, plenty of room for prams, a baby change table and we are a breastfeeding friendly environment.

 

Physiotherapy Assessment

 

If you have not been attending the clinic for treatment with one of our Physiotherapists, you will need to have an assessment with one of our Physiotherapist's prior to attending our Pregnancy or Mums and Bubs classes.

 

For our pregnant Mums it is essential for us to learn about your medical health and any complications you may be experiencing in your pregnancy. We will assess your posture, strength and mobility and identify any modifications that we need to make for you to exercise safely and get the most out of attending the classes.

 

For our Post Natal mums, we want to find out about your delivery and your post-natal recovery.  We will assess your abdominal muscle function using our real time ultrasound machine and screen for pelvic floor dysfunction. We also want to know about your exercise goals as our post-natal physio classes are a great way to exercise safely in the early post-natal period before progressing back into more high level exercise. 

 

If you are unsure if you need to attend an assessment please call and speak with one of our receptionists.