Pregnancy and postnatal physiotherapy is what we specialise in here at Vital Core. We also offer pregnancy and postnatal exercise classes to help you feel and move better during this challenging time. If you are sore with pelvic girdle pain we know just how to help. Perhaps you are suffering the common condition of carpal tunnel (that tingling feeling into your forearms especially at night) that you'd like to feel better from? Maybe you're wanting to continue to run or exercise at a high level throughout your pregnancy, we can help structure a safe yet effective pregnancy exercise program.
Physio Before Pregnancy
In order to limit the likelihood of physical discomfort and pain during pregnancy, it is important that a woman be physically prepared for the upcoming nine months and postnatal period. At Vital Core Physiotherapy, we can advise and educate women on safe and effective exercise during this period as well as correct or help manage any pre-existing problems such as neck pain, back pain or pelvic pain. we can help her become strong and capable in preparation for her journey through pregnancy.
Having a women's health physio in your corner during pregnancy can make a huge difference your experience. 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.
Pregnancy pain especially pregnancy back and pelvic pain 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 women's health physio's at Vital Core will assess each woman, listen to her concerns, assess and diagnose any issue(s) and then work with her to form a treatment/ pain management plan to get her through pregnancy and beyond.
Common (not normal) pregnancy problems include:
- Back pain
- Pelvic girdle pain (SIJ pain or pubic symphysis pain)
- Abdominal pain
- Buttock pain
- Muscle cramps
- Coccyx pain
- Pelvic floor weakness
- Vaginal pain
- Mastitis or engorgement
- Achy / painful shoulders
- Hand / wrist tingling / numbness
- Thumb pain
- Other musculoskeletal problems
Pregnancy physiotherapy at Vital Core - how we help;
- Decrease pain using hands on treatment and pain management techniques such as joint mobilisation and massage
- Provide 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 support to the woman and listen to her concerns without judgement.
- Provide support and relief with the use of tape, special belts, and support shorts.
- Strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles with home exercises
- Stretch tight or gripping muscles with home exercises
- Give exercise ‘snacks’ for relief at home/work.
- Posture re-training.
- Providing group pregnancy exercise classes for all stages and abilities.
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 throughout pregnancy will help a woman’s endurance and mental strength during labour. The Women's health physio's at understand this extremely well and provide specific pregnancy exercise home programs. We also encourage women into our pregnancy exercise class called mummycise.
We also provide education on labour strategies. These include the use of T.E.N.S. T.E.N.S is a great tool for labour and pain management. Vital Core hires out units and can teach you how to use it effectively. You can read more about T.E.N.S for labour here.
Postnatal physiotherapy can ease aches and pains commonly associated with caring for a young baby, as well as start the rehabilitation process following pregnancy and childbirth. Vital Core Physiotherapy is a baby and toddler friendly in the clinic and you will usually find one (or two) of our wonderful receptionists cuddling a bubba while mum is having a treatment session.
We encourage all new mums to have a women's health physio assessment during their postnatal period (from 4-6 weeks postpartum). In these appointments, we listen to a woman's birth story providing emotional support and understanding. Together we then determine her goals for the upcoming year, what she wants to get back to and why. We screen for any pelvic floor problems and offer advice and guidance.
The women's health physio will assess her postnatal body from a functional point of view. Specifically, we assess any abdominal separation which can be a major concern for women, although in most cases is quite normal. Once diagnosed our Vital Core women's health physios will develop a post natal physiotherapy management plan towards achieving those goals with realistic time frames.
This will include simple home exercises as well as encouragement into one of our postnatal exercise classes such as mums and bubs or MumFit.
Postnatal exercise is essential to every single new mum. There are just so many benefits apart from the obvious get stronger and move better. Exercise is fabulous for our mental health and this can not be understated in the extremely challenging postnatal period. Movement also helps our body heal, so is great for C-Section scars as well as perineal trauma. of course it is extremely gentle in the early days - perhaps just a couple of simple stretches - however it can build.
Postnatal exercise must be slow and gradual with a strong focus in the early period on the pelvic floor, trunk mobility and muscle activation. 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 exercises slowly. Vital Core women's health physio's will set you up with a simple, east to follow home program based on your specific set of circumstances and your goals. They will then monitor you closely so to progress that plan until you achieve your goals. Our postnatal exercise classes are a fabulous adjunct to your home program and give a chance to regularly check in with technique as well as perform exercises using equipment that you just can't do at home.
Postnatal exercise classes are such a wonderful place for new mums. Both the Mums and Bubs class and the Mumfit class are set up so you can bring your baby with you. if you need to stop exercising to feed or settle your baby you can do that easily. Being a group exercise class there is plenty of opportunity to chat with other mums and ask questions, offer and receive support. It takes a village to raise a child they say - well here at Vital Core we like to believe we can be part of that village.
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. In many cases the woman will not require antibiotics.
Pelvic floor dysfunction (pain, incontinence and weakness) are a common 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.