Enhance Your Pre+Post Natal Experience
Helping You Along Your Journey to a Healthy Baby and a Healthy You
Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Your body goes through spectacular physical changes in order to prepare to bring another human being into the world. Your ligaments become more pliable, blood volume increases and even your posture changes. Without these astonishing physical changes, your body wouldn’t be able to adapt to the sensational event that is childbirth.
Of course, when your body is going through so many changes so quickly, there are always some areas that may not react as positively as the rest of your body. Often we can be given mis-information during a pregnancy and distinguishing fact from fiction can be challenging. You may be surprised at what should not be considered normal during or after your pregnancy.
Here is a list of what you should not be experiencing during or after your pregnancy:
- No leaking urine, gas or stool when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump or run.
- No ongoing pelvic or back pain
- No feeling of pressure or heaviness in your vagina or rectum
- No experience of pain during intercourse.
Research has shown that 42% of women experience urinary incontinence during pregnancy.
Marked, S., Bo, K. 1999. Prevalence of urinary incontinence during pregnancy and postpartum.
Symptoms to Watch For During Your Pregnancy
If you find that you are experiencing pain or abnormal symptoms during your pregnancy, we can help. Pelvic floor conditions are treatable and necessary for you to gain control during your pregnancy and minimize issues that may arise after childbirth.
It is important to seek professional help from a pelvic health physiotherapist if you experience any of the following during your pregnancy:
- Pain in your pubic bone, groin, back, pelvis, buttocks, or legs
- Difficulties doing everyday tasks such as rolling over, walking, or getting in/out of a vehicle.
- Leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze, walk, etc.
- Building or tenting out of your abdomen when you lift your head off of a pillow. (Abdominal diastasis)
- Pain with intercourse
- Vaginal varicose veins.
Pregnancy is considered the best time to gain a complete understanding of your posture and the correct way of engaging your pelvic floor muscles. It's much more than just doing Kegels!
Seeing a pelvic health care specialist during your pregnancy will also help with the knowledge of how to reduce injuries to your pelvic floor during labor and delivery. Your pelvic health care is an important addition to prenatal care along the journey to a healthy baby and a healthy you.
Post Partum: Helping You After Your Baby Has Arrived
During actual delivery your body undergoes significant changes whether you have had a caesarean section or have delivered vaginally. The pelvic floor muscles have been stretched and even possibly damaged. Making sure that they get back into working order is extremely important to your recovery after childbirth.
Pelvic health physiotherapy is here to help. With proper pelvic physiotherapy after childbirth you can:
- Treat back or pelvic pain
- Resolve urinary and bowel incontinence
- Heal pelvic organ prolapse and abdominal diastasis.
If you find yourself nodding yes to any of the symptoms or situations listed below then you would benefit from an evaluation by a pelvic health physiotherapist:
- Scarring from C-section, tearing, or episiotomy
- Leaking urine, gas or stool when you cough, sneeze, or exercise
- Not making it to the bathroom in time
- Problems emptying your bladder or bowl completely or urinating frequently
- Pain with intercourse
- Pressure, heaviness, or building in your vagina or rectum
- Ongoing pain in your vagina, rectum, pelvis, pubic bone, abdomen or lower back
- Bulging or tenting of your abdomen during any exercise.
I am so grateful for the time the therapists at CURA took to build a positive and comfortable relationship with me because I was able to discuss the things we hate to discuss after childbirth....The care I have received, and continue to receive, at CURA has been exceptional.
Taking it Slow
Getting back into shape after giving birth is indeed a noble goal. However, it is important to understand that some forms of exercise may actually delay your recovery, increase back pain and impair pelvic organ function. There is also risk of making urine or stool control more difficult, as well as dropping your uterus or other pelvic organs which causes long-term difficulties or pain.
From 0 to 8 Weeks:
From 0-8 weeks post partum, it’s important to just allow your body to heal naturally. The body has an amazing ability to understand what it needs, so during this time let it heal itself to the best of its ability.
Rest is just as important as exercise during this crucial healing time. Simply sitting up straight and performing pelvic contractions will help heal you in your own time.
From 8 Weeks & Onward:
After 8 weeks, then you can begin to see significant changes towards healing and then consider getting into an exercise program.
Before you begin an exercise program it’s important to understand the difference between strengthening your core muscles and retraining them properly. But before you begin, learning what is normal and what is not can help prevent further injuries and heal any problems that may arise instead of inadvertently making them worse.
Are You Ready?
There are a few self tests you can perform at home to ensure if your body is properly prepared to begin an exercise program.
Curl Up Test
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your chin tucked in.
Leg Lift Test
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Lift one leg up off the ground about two inches.
It is not normal to experience any of the following during these tests:
- Back or pubic pain
- A gap or separation in the muscles of your abdomen
- Bulging or doming of your abdomen
- Vaginal bulging
Retraining vs. Strengthening Core Muscles After Delivery
There is a significant difference between strengthening core muscles and retraining them. Strengthening focuses on working the more superficial abdominal muscles like sit-ups and other core work, while retraining focuses on working from the inside out, activating deeper stabilizing muscles.
After pregnancy, the safest exercise route and your first priority should be retraining the core muscles before strengthening. This will help to protect your internal organs, support your pelvis and back and help you regain strength more rapidly with a solid foundation in place.
Our highly trained pelvic health physiotherapists can help you get back on track and develop a treatment program that is specifically designed for your personal needs.