Tel: 01707 888 229
pregnancy-physiotherapy

Pregnancy Physiotherapy

Pregnancy physiotherapy is safe and gentle.

Pregnancy physiotherapy is safe and gentle, comfort is paramount, and mother and baby’s wellbeing is always the first consideration. Each Physiotherapy treatment during pregnancy is carefully considered and individually designed to suit each mother. It’s important to us that you are very comfortable. We use specially designed and pillows and cushions for your comfort. Some patients like to lie on their front for specific physiotherapy techniques. The Physiotherapist is trained to know if you’re comfortable in certain positions (or at least to ask). Please feel free to let us know if you are worried or, of course, even slightly uncomfortable. Back Pain during pregnancy is widespread and quite often a result of increased weight and adaptive postural changes. It is estimated that between 60-80% of women experience some form of back pain, so rest assured you’re not alone. Pregnant women often get pain between their shoulder blades, neck, low back and around the ribs. Pregnancy physiotherapy during this time can be very supportive and provide excellent pain relief. Throughout pregnancy, the body will go through a considerable amount of changes. The spine, pelvis, ligaments and muscles change gradually but dramatically over time to accommodate a growing baby. These changes may place additional pressure on joints and muscles, especially around the spine and pelvis.  The physiotherapist is well trained; they will conduct a full assessment and help to diagnose what the condition is. They will also work out the best treatment for you and explain everything beforehand. Physiotherapy treatment can involve gentle mobilisations, soft tissue release, K tape and exercises to help strengthen the back. Physiotherapy treatment can provide safe and effective relief from aches and pains. 

A hormone called Relaxin.

Pregnancy speeds up postural changes much faster than usual, and the pregnant body has to adapt quickly. During the last trimester, changes in weight and posture can be pretty dramatic. During pregnancy, the softening and increased elasticity of pelvic ligaments (to enable the baby to be delivered through the usually stiff pelvis) are modulated by a hormone called Relaxin. Relaxin can alter the ligamentous stability of the whole body. The hormone may often cause previously stiff areas to move, shear and cause increased pain in the pelvic area. The position of the growing baby may also lead to pain and discomfort in the spine and pelvis. Physiotherapy treatment aims to improve your body’s ability to change (compensate) and adapt during pregnancy. During pregnancy, physiotherapy aims to support you and your baby with the minimum pain and discomfort.

Pregnancy physiotherapy at the Hatfield Practice. Safe and relaxing

Pregnancy physiotherapy at the Hatfield Practice

 

Symphysis pubis dysfunction SPD

One in five women suffers from Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) during pregnancy. The pelvis is the most significant bony part of the skeleton, made up of 2 halves, connected at the front by a disc type joint called the symphysis pubis (sacroiliac joints). During normal conditions, minimal movement occurs at these particular joints. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released(to enable the baby to be delivered through the usually stiff pelvis). Relaxin softens and increases the elasticity of pelvic ligaments and alters the ligamentous stability of the whole body. Symphysis pubis dysfunction is reasonably common and presents at different levels of severity. The physiotherapist will teach you some exercises for  SPD  (Symphysis pubis dysfunction). They will also provide suggestions on how to avoid irritating the joints. They may give specific helpful advice such as altering the way you walk, sleep or sit.  Paracetamol (if allowed) and hot water bottles can also help your discomfort. Support belts such as the Serola Maternity Support Belt.

 

Pregnancy Physiotherapy

During the delivery of your baby, many factors can affect the baby’s passage through the pelvis. In some women, the pelvis is naturally asymmetrical or twisted out of line. This twisting can be due to many factors. This rigidity can interfere with the baby’s delivery through the birth canal and is the complete opposite of hyper-mobile due to the hormone Relaxin. Physiotherapy treatment can help improve your spines function and enhance pelvis and lower back mechanics to reduce pain. It’s also essential that the spine and pelvis are in the best possible position with the least amount of imbalance, torsion and restriction as possible. Physiotherapy treatment aims to strengthen and stabilise problematic pelvic and spinal areas during pregnancy. Physiotherapy seeks to educate and inform through examination, treatment and patient discussion. Physiotherapy also aims to soothe and ease away pregnancy pains that seem to change day by day. Physiotherapy treatments normalise the body easing sore muscles and joints, helping the bodywork as effectively as possible. Treatments during pregnancy are enormously beneficial for pain relief and assist the natural process of pregnancy and birth. Physiotherapy works by aiding the body to adapt and align as the pregnancy progresses. The Pregnancy physiotherapist will use gentle, safe and effective treatments, always being aware of your feelings and the baby’s safety.

Practical SPD advice from your physiotherapist

erola Maternity Support Belt can really help with pelvic pain during pregnacy

Serola Maternity support belt

  • Try not to sit in a car or drive if at all possible
  • Don’t sit cross-legged
  • Physiotherapy and Osteopathy can help ease painful symptoms
  • Call the Hatfield Practice and ask for help. People don’t mind.
  • Then relax about accepting as much help as possible. Please don’t make your pain worse by pushing through. 
  • Use the internet to shop and organise. Ask your husband, kids, mum, friends to help.
  • Try not to carry things as the extra weight may aggravate the pelvis or spine further.
  • Try to get extra help when getting up. Or stay in a comfortable position in bed!
  • Worth repeating online shopping can be a godsend.
  • If you do go out avoiding using shopping baskets and use trolleys
  • Have physiotherapy or osteopathic treatment quickly. The body responds to treatment very quickly during pregnancy.

After Pregnancy?

Depending on the type and length of labour experienced during childbirth, women can have a wide range of issues after birth.  Pregnancy physiotherapy treatment can help to reduce postpartum pain. Over the term of the pregnancy, the body changes and the spine is often pushed back into an extended (leaning back) position. These changes may shorten and tighten spinal muscles and cause spinal pain. Physiotherapy treatment will re-train the muscles, normalising posture and helping you to feel comfortable again. Pregnancy physiotherapy can help release postural habits picked up during pregnancy. With a new baby, life can change dramatically. Little ones grow so quickly, so getting the balance right between your wellbeing and the baby’s care is essential. Physiotherapy can also help ongoing back, muscle and joint problems that may have been aggravated by pregnancy, birth and aftercare. 

After pregnancy, osteopathic treatment can help the body return to normal. Including:

  • Helping to restore pelvic and spinal alignment and improve posture
  • Ease away any aches or pains which have developed from poor breastfeeding posture and strains from lifting and carrying.
  • Physiotherapy can help to alleviate non-resolving back pain which is common after pregnancy
  • Aiding rehabilitation in the after of Caesarian -sections (C-section)
  • Physiotherapy can help with bladder or incontinence problems in the aftermath of pregnancy

Breastfeeding

Physiotherapy treatment can help with aches and pains associated with breastfeeding posture (men using bottles. Well, you will be surprised !). Babygrows very fast, so lifting car seats can be challenging. Prams seem to be getting heavier and heavier and, of course, carrying a baby and bending over the cot. Overall, postnatal Physiotherapy can help with long term preventative care, allowing you to relax and enjoy your new baby.