Pregnancy & Postpartum Physiotherapy

Pregnant Woman Yoga with Sam Hughes

SIDE NOTE ON BELLY WRAPS

Belly wraps can be used during the post-partum period (1-2 months post partum) to improve abdominal and back support and to help with healing. It may help to approximate the abdominal muscles, and help retrain the deeper abdominal muscles. To strengthen the deeper muscles the wrap can be used in combination with the appropriate exercises.

There are many types of wraps, make sure the pressure is greater from the bottom, so there is not too much increased downward abdominal pressure towards the perineum and lower organs. Also elastic wraps works better than non elastic ones. 

Downward pressure should be avoided with symptoms of prolapse!

I sometimes recommend a spanx type high waist mid thigh shapper as the compression will be from bottom up.

Active Woman Post Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Postpartum Physiotherapy

Pregnancy and postpartum care is essential for a healthy mom and baby. Maintaining health, physical activity and controlling any other symptoms that may occur during pregnancy or delivery is important.

Pregnancy and postpartum physiotherapy can help keep you mobile, pain free and address other side effects that can arrise.

Your body transforms during pregnancy to adapt for the baby and to prepare for delivery. Many moms to be have very little discomfort and can continue the same level of activity as before pregnancy. Unfortunately, due to all physiological changes, some women can experience pelvic/hip or lumbar pain, bladder symptoms such as urgency , frequency or urinary leakages, constipation or changes with their bowel routine.

I am here to help get you through your pregnancy with as minimal discomfort as possible. I can also give you good advice regarding exercises, birthing positioning, pelvic floor muscle training and perineal massage  to increase your chances of a positive birth experience. I am here to help get you through your pregnancy with as minimal discomfort as possible. I can also give you good advice regarding exercises, birthing positioning, pelvic floor muscle training and perineal massage  to increase your chances of a positive birth experience. This is where you can find instructions on how to perform perineal massage from Baby IT

I also work closely with naturopathic doctor and pregnancy acupuncturists that can help guide you through pregnancy and delivery.

Pregnancy and Sex

If you are having a healthy pregnancy and no risks for preterm labour (i.e. high blood pressure or multiple pregnancy), you can have sex as often as you want. Some women can even have increased libido due to hormone changes. Having sex does not increase the risk of miscarriage (1), as usually miscarriage happens because the fetus is not developing normally. You may need to be creative as your belly grows, as some positions may no longer be feasible.

Pregancy App for BC Residents

 

SmartMom is a free text messaging program that sends you information timed to your stage of pregnancy to help you achieve healthy pregnancy and birth.

More Info

POSTPARTUM HEALTH

During pregnancy and delivery the women's body will change significantly. Postpartum recovery is essential for long-term pelvic health. During the first year after delivery the women's ligament, hormones and tissues are still changing (especially in lactating mothers). It is a good window to treat any symptoms initiated during pregnancy or after delivery.


How can postpartum pelvic floor physiotherapy help women?

  • By assessing postural control, pelvis and back alignment, and any pattern of pain
  • By assessing the abdominal muscles and Diastasis recti (abdomen separation)
  • By perform internal pelvic examination including pelvic organ prolapse evaluation,  pelvic floor muscles (PFM) evaluation and establishing pain patterns and vaginal sensitivity
  • ​By treating PFM dysfunction with manual therapy, biofeedback, trigger point release, relaxation and stretches
  • By treating bladder or bowel dysfunction using behavioral therapy, bladder and bowel training
  • By providing education including preventative treatments
  • By helping with core retraining and postural control
  • By helping moms feel stronger and go back to their level of activity


When should I see a pelvic health Physiotherapist?

  • Over 4-8 weeks post-partum after vaginal delivery and 8 weeks or over after C-section delivery
  • Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence (Leaking Urine Involuntarily)
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse, or sensation of vaginal heaviness with standing and activities
  • Traumatic birth with vaginal or perineal tearing
  • Frequency and urgencies
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Pain with Sex
  • To receive more information on post-partum health and recovery

POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION

Emotional instability, anger, guilt, tearfulness, worrying, anxious thoughts or images, feelings of inadequacy and the inability to cope are signs of post-partum depression. It can occur shortly after the arrival of a baby or months after. Post-partum depression needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Pregnancy opening postures

This is my favourite pose: you can practice pelvic floor muscle relaxation, belly breathing or perineal stretch

Love this stretch, you want your sacrum to be touching the wall to increase support. Open your legs as tolerated, no pain or overstretching

Symmetry pose can be used to level the pelvis and hips, improve inner-thigh flexibility. If not comfortable lying flat use a wedge pillow.

 

Happy baby pose can be challenging at time, you can modify by doing one leg at the time and also using a wedge pillow if uncomfortable lying flat.

Remember your body is more laxed during pregnancy so be careful, don't overstretch. These are relaxation poses, so you want to feel comfortable to be able to relax.

Postpartum Exercise Videos

I always prescribe exercises for postpartum moms. I usually find strong gluts, core awareness, thorax / abdominal mobility, and upper body strength essencial to regain function and to help with day-to-day activities during postpartum period and into the future. I have started this project with my community fitness instructors and healers to contribute with great exercises and tips for you..

These videos are from my community to you 

Sam Hughes Physiotherapy Youtube

 

Sam Hughes Physiotherapy Youtube

 

Contributor Raquel Lanting: Owner and Master teacher of  Dailey Method White Rock 

Contributor Susannah Steers: Owner / Pilates & Integrated Movement Specialist of Moving Spirit 

Contributor Lauren Roegele: Yoga instructor, teacher and fascial therapist


Contributor Kim Vopni (The Vagina Coach): Personal Trainer specialized in pelvic floor