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Obstetric Physiotherapy

Before, During and After Pregnancy (and child birth)

Before becoming pregnant

In order to limit the likelihood physical discomfort and pain during pregnancy it is important that a woman be physically prepared for the upcoming nine months and beyond. At Vital Core Physiotherapy we can advise and educated women on safe and effective exercise in this period as well as correct or help manage any pre existing problems such as neck, back or pelvic pain.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of monumental change for a woman. Hormones, postural and muscular changes as her body grows and changes shape, increasing weight, altered circulation, not to mention stress, all make a woman’s body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. They can all play havoc on her self confidence too.

Symptoms may come on gradually or suddenly and can leave a pregnant woman feeling very vulnerable and anxious as to how she will manage to get through the remainder of her pregnancy. The need to continue to work or care for other children can be extremely difficult and stressful to any pregnant woman but more so if she is in pain.

There are a large number of common pregnancy ‘conditions’. Being common doesn’t make them normal. The physio’s at Vital Core will assess each woman, listen to her concerns, diagnose the issue(s) and then work with her to form a treatment/ management plan to get her through pregnancy and beyond.

Common (not normal) pregnancy problems include:

  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain or instability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Coccyx pain
  • Pubic pain
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor weakness
  • Vaginal pain
  • Mastitis or engorgement
  • Achy / painful shoulders
  • Hand / wrist tingling / numbness
  • Thumb pain
  • Swelling
  • Other musculoskeletal problems

Vital Core Physio’s help pregnant women by;

  • Provide the education to the woman for her to understand that she is not ‘broken’ and explain exactly what is happening and why and just as importantly, what we (together) can do to help.
  • Give the support to the woman and listen to her concerns without judgement.
  • Decrease pain using treatment techniques such as joint mobilisation, massage and electrotherapy
  • Provide support for the afflicted area with the use of tape, special belts.
  • Strengthen weak muscles with home exercises
  • Stretch tight muscles with home exercises
  • Give exercise ‘snacks’ for relief at home/work.
  • Posture training.
  • Providing twice weekly pregnancy exercise classes for all stages and abilities.

Labour

Labour is often a very daunting topic for women, yet with education, it can be a very fulfilling and empowering event, with a wonderful gift at the end. Remaining in ‘control’ is key.

Remaining strong through pregnancy will help a woman’s endurance and mental strength during labour. At Vital Core we can provide specific strengthening home programs. We also encourage women into our twice weekly mummycise classes.

We also provide education on potential labour strategies. These include the use of T.E.N.S. You can read more about T.E.N.S for labour here.

Post Partum

At Vital Core Physiotherapy we can help ease any aches and pains commonly associated with caring for a young baby, as well as start the rehabilitation process following pregnancy and childbirth.

We encourage all new mums to have a post natal assessment (from 4-6 weeks post partum). In these appointments we listen to a woman birth story providing emotional support and understanding. We then determine her goals for the upcoming year, what she wants to get back to and why. We screen for any pelvic floor dysfunction. Then we assess her post natal body from a functional point of view. Specifically we assess any abdominal separation which can be a major concern for women. Once diagnosed our Vital Core physio’s will develop a treatment plan towards achieving those goals with realistic time frames.

Exercise in the post natal period is essential if a woman wishes to return her body close to her ‘before baby’ size and shape. However it is essential that return to exercise be slow and gradual with a strong focus in the early period on pelvic floor and core control and strength. There are a number of studies indicating full recovery of the pelvic floor can take a year or more, so it makes sense to progress all exercise very cautiously.

Mastitis is another very common condition in the early post natal period. Vital Core Physiotherapists can effectively treat this painful condition and educate woman how to self manage it and prevent its recurrence.

Pelvic floor dysfunction (pain, incontinence and weakness) are a common but not normal conditions affecting post natal woman. Vital Core Physiotherapy has a number of well trained and highly experienced Pelvic Floor physiotherapists to help a feel confident in her body and get back into the activities she loves.

Our Mums and Bubs class allows women to exercise safely in a very supportive environment.

Links

bubhub.com.au
joysclasses.com.au