During pregnancy, a woman’s body experiences various hormonal shifts that can result in a range of physical discomforts. These bodily pains and aches are completely normal and can be alleviated with the help of physiotherapy. Therefore significance of antenatal and postnatal physiotherapy cannot be overstated as it caters comprehensively to the primary healthcare needs of women by offering enhanced treatment across all aspects of their well-being. By providing care during and after childbirth, effectively mitigates a wide range of potential complications.
Often overlooked or undervalued, physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in facilitating the recovery of muscular and ligamentous tissues post-pregnancy. Through diligent monitoring, assessment, and treatment approaches, pelvic floor physiotherapists significantly contribute to positive pregnancy outcomes. Additionally, by addressing physical and emotional instability as well as reducing anxiety and stress levels among expectant mothers through various interventions, physiotherapy promotes successful pregnancies with improved maternal health.
Here’s an overview of the significant roles of physiotherapy in both stages:
Pain Management: Pregnant women often experience musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the lower back, pelvis, and hips. Physiotherapists can provide exercises and techniques to alleviate pain and improve comfort.
Posture Improvement: Physiotherapists teach proper body mechanics and posture to prevent back and neck strain during pregnancy, as the body undergoes significant changes in weight distribution.
Core and Pelvic Floor Strengthening: Strengthening exercises for the core and pelvic floor muscles help support the growing uterus, reduce incontinence issues, and facilitate easier labour and delivery.
Breathing Techniques: Proper breathing techniques can assist with relaxation and pain management during labour.
Education: Physiotherapists provide education on safe exercise and activity during pregnancy, as well as advice on managing common pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes and hypertension.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in rehabilitating the pelvic floor muscles, which can become weakened or damaged during childbirth. This helps with bladder and bowel control and can prevent or treat pelvic organ prolapse.
Diastasis Recti Treatment: Abdominal separation (diastasis recti) is common after childbirth. Physiotherapists can provide exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles and close the gap.
Recovery from Cesarean Section: Physiotherapy aids in the recovery of abdominal strength and mobility after a C-section, addressing scar tissue and preventing complications.
Back and Neck Pain Relief: New mothers often experience back and neck pain due to breastfeeding, carrying the baby, and poor posture. Physiotherapy techniques and exercises can help alleviate these issues.
Restoring Mobility: Physiotherapists work on improving overall mobility, including joint flexibility and muscle strength, which can be affected by pregnancy and childbirth.
Emotional Support: Physiotherapists provide emotional support and guidance, as many new mothers experience postpartum depression and anxiety. Exercise can contribute to improved mental health.
In both antenatal and post-natal care, physiotherapists customize treatment plans based on the individual needs and conditions of the mother. The goal is to promote a healthy pregnancy, ensure a smoother childbirth experience, and aid in the recovery and overall well-being of both mother and baby. Always consult with a healthcare professional or physiotherapist for personalized advice and care during pregnancy and the postpartum period