Pregnancy - Prenatal Physiotherapy

During pregnancy, your body changes in incredible ways to accommodate for your growing uterus and fetus

Pregnant belly

PRENATAL PHYSIOTHERAPY CAN HELP YOU:

  • Manage pregnancy related changes to ensure your pregnancy is as comfortable as possible

  • Stay connected or learn to connect to your core and pelvic floor throughout your pregnancy​​

  • Prevent, manage or treat:

    • Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain including SI joint, pubic symphysis, hip and low back pain

    • Round ligament pain

    • Incontinence

    • Constipation

    • Abdominal separation (DRA) 

  • Stay active and strong throughout your pregnancy

  • Prepare your body and mind for birth by learning:

    • Mobility exercises and strategies to help position your baby in a better position for birth 

    • How to RELAX your pelvic floor for birth 

    • Perineal massage techniques 

    • Evidenced-based information and strategies to use during labour and birth to:

      • Improve your birth experience

      • Reduce your risk for tearing

      • Reduce your risks for common postpartum conditions including incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (POP)

    • See Preparing for Birth for more information

  • Get a head start on your postpartum recovery by:

    • Strengthening your body during pregnancy so that you can recover quicker and get back to the activities you love sooner​

    • ​Learning how to improve your recovery from cesearian and vaginal births

Prenatal Workout

Prenatal physio faqs

Who should see a physiotherapist during pregnancy?


All pregnant people can benefit from prenatal physiotherapy regardless of whether or not they are experiencing pain, discomfort or other symptoms related to pregnancy. Prenatal physiotherapy can help you:

  • Feel better during pregnancy
  • Be better prepare for birth
  • Reduce your chances of experiencing common postpartum conditions, including incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse




When is the best time to see a physiotherapist during pregnancy?


Pregnant people can be seen at any time during pregnancy. Some people will even see a physiotherapist when they are trying to conceive to prepare their bodies for pregancy.
If you are pregnant and have any concerns or are experiencing pain or other symptoms, book an appointment ASAP. If you want to optimize your pregnancy, consider booking an appointment earlier in your pregnancy to get a head start. If you are in your first trimester and you are experiencing a lot of nausea and fatigue, it may be better to wait until your second trimester, when hopefully these symptoms have subsided. If you want information on preparing your mind and body for birth, make an appointment during your second trimester. This will ensure you have plenty of time to practice what is taught, to think about and decide on your birth preferences, and to have conversations with your health care provider about these preferences so that you are confident going into labour and birth that you are on the same page. If you want to learn how to perform perineal massage and/or how to prepare for your early postpartum recovery period, book an appointment around 35 weeks.




Are internal pelvic assessments safe during pregnancy?


Internal pelvic assessents are safe during pregnancy, provided you have no medical condtions that limit or restrict vaginal penetration. If you are unsure, speak to your health care provider prior to your prenatal physiotherapy appointment. To learn more about internal pelvic assessments, see my section on Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy.




Why is prenatal physiotherapy important?


PREVENTION and PREPARATION are KEY! Learning to connect to and stay connected to your core and pelvic floor throughout pregnancy will make your pregnancy much more comfortable and will make your postpartum recovery easier. It can also reduce your chances of experiencing common pregnancy and postpartum conditions such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Properly preparing your body and mind birth can lead to better birth experiences and reduce your chances of experiencing pelvic health conditions associated with labour and birth (see Preparing for Birth for more information). Preparing for early postpartum recovery, particularly the first 4-8 weeks, can help improve healing and give you a head start on your postpartum recovery. This is especially important for people wanting to return to exercise and high impact activities fast!




Are internal pelvic assessments necessary during pregnancy?


Internal pelvic assessments can be very helpful in properly assessing the pelvic floor to prevent, manage, reduce or resolve symptoms and conditions associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. However, if for any reason you are not comfortable having an internal pelvic exam, one does not need to be done. There are many other ways we can assess and treat the pelvic floor and the conditions and symptoms associatd with pelvic floor dysfunction.