Pelvic Floor Therapy For Pregnancy | How Can It Help?

Pelvic Floor Therapy For Pregnancy | How Can It Help?

Introduction

A journey of pregnancy is a profound and transformative experience, marked by wonder and anticipation. However, it also entails an array of changes, some less discussed than others, that can leave expecting mothers seeking support and answers to uncomfortable symptoms.

One often-overlooked area that undergoes significant transformations during this time is the pelvic floor. This is where pelvic floor therapy for pregnancy comes into focus.If you’re curious to explore how pelvic floor therapy for pregnancy can benefit you, consider checking our resources which delve deeper into the subject.

In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore the world of pelvic floor therapy during pregnancy, uncovering its potential to empower pregnant women and nurture both maternal and fetal well-being.

How Important Is The Pelvic Floor In Pregnancy?

The pelvic floor, a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues forming a supportive hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis, plays a pivotal role during pregnancy.

Its significance in pregnancy care cannot be overstated, as it serves several crucial functions that impact both prenatal care, the mother’s well-being, and the health of the growing baby.

1. Supporting the Uterus

It provides crucial support for the expanding uterus, preventing discomfort and complications.

2. Controlling Bodily Functions

It helps maintain urinary and bowel continence, preventing issues like urinary incontinence due to increased pelvic pressure.

3. Assisting in Labor

Strong, flexible pelvic floor muscles aid in the second stage of labor, facilitating childbirth.

How Effective Is Pelvic Floor Therapy?

How Effective Is Pelvic Floor Therapy

Clinical evidence suggests that Pelvic Floor Muscle Training serves as a proactive conservation therapy to prevent and treat pelvic floor disorders safely.

Pelvic floor therapy has emerged as a highly effective and well-regarded approach to addressing a range of issues related to pelvic health including a weak pelvic floor both during pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and beyond.

Its effectiveness can be attributed to several key factors:

  • Customized Treatment Plans: A qualified pelvic floor therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to each pregnant woman’s specific concerns and goals.
  • Improved Muscle Awareness: The therapy educates patients on these vital muscles, teaching them how to control and coordinate them effectively to better control urinary and bowel functions.
  • Preparation for Labor and Delivery: During pregnancy, women are equipped with the strength and flexibility needed for labor and childbirth reducing the risk of complications through this therapy.

Benefits Of Pelvic Therapy For Pregnancy

Research shows that starting pelvic floor therapy before 32 weeks of pregnancy leads to improved birth and postpartum outcomes, reducing the risk of muscle tearing during delivery and boosting pushing confidence.

If offers a multitude of advantages during pregnancy that can significantly decrease pain and enhance the overall well-being of expectant mothers. Here are the key benefits:

Improved Pelvic Floor Health

  • The most obvious health benefit is crucial for providing support to the growing uterus, bladder, and bowel.
  • Strong pelvic floor muscles can also help prevent issues like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, which can be common during and after pregnancy.

Pain Management

  • Pelvic floor therapy includes techniques by physical therapists that address muscular tension and imbalances such as manual physical therapy exercises and exercises.
  • The therapy can also provide significant pain relief for pelvic pain, lower back pain, or discomfort during pregnancy.

Preparation for Labor

  • Pelvic therapy can help women prepare for childbirth by ensuring their pelvic and abdominal muscles are in optimal condition for giving birth and reducing the risk of complications during the delivery process.

Pelvic floor therapy can ease childbirth

Pelvic floor therapy can ease childbirth

The condition of the pelvic floor during vaginal birth plays a pivotal role in how smoothly childbirth unfolds. Regardless of your experience giving birth, or delivery method, all mothers can reap significant benefits from pelvic floor therapy.

Here’s how pelvic floor therapy can significantly ease the process of childbirth:

  1. Faster Recovery: Women with strong and well-functioning pelvic floor muscles tend to recover from childbirth more quickly.
  2. Reduced Risk of Complications: Strong pelvic floor muscles can contribute to a smoother, more controlled delivery, reducing the likelihood of issues like perineal tears or the need for forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery.
  3. Empowerment and Confidence: Knowing that you have prepared your body through pelvic floor therapy can boost your confidence and a sense of empowerment during labor and delivery.

Pelvic Floor Therapy Speeds Up Postpartum Recovery

The postpartum period is a time of physical and emotional adjustment for new mothers. Pelvic floor physical therapy, including specialized pelvic floor exercises, alone can expedite the postpartum recovery process and offers numerous benefits:

  • Supporting Organ Alignment: After childbirth, pelvic floor physical therapy during pregnancy helps realign the uterus, bladder, and bowel organs, reducing the risk of complications and discomfort.
  • Improved Sexual Function: Postpartum changes after pregnancy can affect sexual satisfaction. Issues like pain during intercourse and reduced sensation can be addressed through pelvic floor therapy, contributing to an improved and more satisfying sexual experience.
  • Emotional Well-being: Childbirth can be emotionally taxing, with mood swings, anxiety, and depression being common experiences. Physical therapists specializing in pelvic floor therapy often incorporate relaxation techniques and emotional support, helping women navigate the emotional challenges of new motherhood.

Helps Address Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Floor Weakness

Helps Address Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Floor Weakness

Pregnancy symptoms bring transformative changes to a woman’s body, impacting the pelvic floor muscles that support vital organs. Multiple studies have confirmed the link between vaginal childbirth and pelvic floor prolapse. These muscles can weaken due to factors like hormonal shifts, fetal weight, and the birthing process

Pelvic floor therapy provides tailored exercises and strategies to address weak pelvic floor muscles and help women navigate pregnancy with greater comfort, muscle strength, confidence, and physical resilience, placing a specific emphasis on pelvic health.

How Do I Know If I Need Pelvic Floor Therapy?

Pelvic floor therapy is a valuable resource for many women, but it’s important to recognize when to see a pelvic floor specialist after birth. Here are some signs and indications that suggest you may benefit from pelvic floor therapy:

Urinary Incontinence

If you experience involuntary urine leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising, it could indicate a weakened pelvic floor.

Bowel Issues

Chronic constipation, difficulty controlling gas, or fecal incontinence can be related to pelvic floor dysfunction.

Painful Intercourse

Pain during sexual intercourse, often referred to as dyspareunia, can be related to pelvic floor issues.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain that doesn’t have an apparent cause may be related to pelvic floor dysfunction.

Lack of Muscle Awareness

If you’re unsure about how to properly engage or relax your pelvic floor muscles, therapy can provide guidance and education on muscle control.

Conclusion

In the journey of motherhood, the importance of pelvic floor health becomes evident. Pregnancy induces transformations affecting these vital muscles. Numerous studies have correlated vaginal childbirth with increased stress and pelvic organ prolapse, thankfully Pelvic floor physical therapy is specifically designed to address these concerns, proving invaluable, offering benefits for all mothers, regardless of their delivery method.

This therapy empowers women to embrace motherhood with resilience and grace. If you have any common questions about pelvic floor therapy, explore our ‘Pelvic floor therapy questions’ section here. To delve deeper into the topic and discover how pelvic floor specialists in pregnancy at our clinic can support you, check this resource. Don’t hesitate to reach out to prenatal physical therapist or our experienced team of healthcare providers for personalized guidance and care on your motherhood journey.

A man squatting with a barbell in a gym.
Author

Dr. Ross Gentry

PT, DPT, CF-L2, CSCS

"This is Physical Therapy for Athletes. We relieve pain and ensure you're ready to do what you love"

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