Welcoming new life into the world is a transformative experience that changes your body. During this journey, it is essential to maintain your physical and psychological well-being. Prenatal physiotherapy is tailored to enhance your comfort and overall strength during pregnancy.
Prenatal physiotherapy is not just about exercises. It is a tailored approach to guide your body through the pregnancy phase. This article unravels prenatal physiotherapy at Concept of Movement Physiotherapy, when to start, and the techniques used.
What is Prenatal Physiotherapy?
Prenatal physiotherapy focuses on addressing the unique changes your body experiences throughout pregnancy. Prenatal physiotherapy consists of tailored exercises, techniques, and guidance to ease discomfort, enhance posture, strengthen muscles, and improve overall mobility.
Prenatal physiotherapy can reduce pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, anxiety, insomnia, and stress. In addition, this tailored treatment can improve muscle strength, core stability, and posture.
Other reasons to undergo prenatal physiotherapy in Barrie, ON, include preventing excessive weight gain during pregnancy, enhancing relaxation, and preparing you for the physical demands of labor.
When Should You Start Prenatal Physiotherapy?
It's best to begin prenatal physiotherapy as early as the first trimester. Starting prenatal physiotherapy early helps to establish a solid foundation for your changing body. Consequently, you can address any potential issues before they become more pronounced, ensuring a smoother pregnancy.
Does Prenatal Physiotherapy Help in Normal Delivery?
Prenatal physiotherapy can significantly contribute to your preparedness for normal delivery. This treatment focuses on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, helping you maintain optimal posture, and improving your flexibility. As a result, it aids in proper pelvic alignment and muscle control, which are valuable during labor and delivery.
What Happens During Prenatal Physiotherapy Sessions?
Your physiotherapist will assess your needs and create a plan tailored for you. During your personalized prenatal physiotherapy sessions, you will undergo techniques like breathing exercises, stretches, and posture guidance. These exercises are gentle; your Barrie physiotherapist will ensure they don't exert you. Prenatal physiotherapy will help your body adapt to pregnancy changes and improve comfort.
What Techniques Are Used in Prenatal Physiotherapy?
Prenatal physiotherapy includes tailored techniques that cater to your needs during pregnancy. These techniques prepare your body for the transformative journey of childbirth. Prenatal physiotherapy techniques include;
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, crucial in supporting your pelvic organs and maintaining urinary and bowel control. Pelvic therapy Barrie guides you through targeted exercises to strengthen these muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor can aid in preventing issues like incontinence and even provide stability and support for childbirth and postpartum recovery.
Effective breathing reduces stress and promotes relaxation. These techniques can also help manage pain during contractions and labor. Controlled breathing can also help you stay focused and calm during labor.
Pregnancy changes your body's center of gravity and overall posture. Prenatal physiotherapy helps you recognize these changes and guides maintaining optimal posture. Your physiotherapist will educate you and recommend techniques to correct your posture. Correcting your posture can alleviate the strain on your back and spine, reducing discomfort and promoting better alignment.
Because the body undergoes physical changes during pregnancy, the muscles may become tense or tight. Your physiotherapist will recommend stretching exercises to improve flexibility and relieve muscle tension. These stretches are gentle and focus on the lower back, hips, and shoulders because they are prone to tightness.
Prenatal physiotherapy includes exercises that strengthen your core, including your abdominal and back muscles. Improved core strength provides stability to your spine and pelvis. In addition, these exercises help support your growing belly, maintain proper posture, and reduce lower back pain.
Functional exercises mimic your daily movements and activities. Your physiotherapist will tailor functional movements to your pregnancy stage to help you carry out activities easily with minimal strain on your body.
Pregnancy hormones can loosen ligaments and joints, leading to discomfort or instability. Your physiotherapist will use joint mobilization techniques to help you maintain joint mobility and relieve any discomfort caused by hormonal changes.
Prenatal physiotherapy is more than exercise. The treatment includes education about proper body mechanics and techniques for managing common discomforts like back pain. Your physiotherapist will also educate you on self-care strategies to help you stay comfortable throughout your pregnancy.
What Precautions Should You Take During Prenatal Physiotherapy?
Although prenatal physiotherapy is beneficial, it is essential to be careful. The pregnancy phase is delicate. Some precautions you can follow for an effective experience include;
Consult A Physiotherapist
Before starting any exercise routine in pregnancy, consult your physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist can assess your overall health and pre-existing conditions and make personalized recommendations based on your needs.
In addition, ensure your physiotherapist specializes in prenatal care. Experienced physiotherapists know how to adapt exercises and techniques to suit your needs, ensuring your safety.
Although exercising during pregnancy is excellent, overexertion can have adverse effects. Avoid pushing yourself too hard, and pay attention to your body's signals. Prenatal physiotherapy involves gentle and controlled exercises that promote well-being without causing unnecessary strain.
As your pregnancy progresses, your body's abilities and limitations will change. Your physiotherapist will guide you on modifying exercises to suit each trimester. Modifying exercises and intensities ensure you receive the benefits without risking discomfort or harm.
Staying hydrated during physical activity, especially during pregnancy, is crucial. Drink water before, during, and after your physiotherapy sessions to maintain hydration and support your body's demands.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential for you and your baby's well-being. Ensure you consume a balanced diet that provides the necessary nutrients to support your physical activity and overall health during pregnancy.
Rest and Recovery
Your body's demands heighten during pregnancy. Rest is crucial for your overall health and the well-being of your baby. Allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover between physiotherapy sessions.
Communicate Your Concerns
Always communicate your concerns with your physiotherapist. Tell your physiotherapist if the exercises or techniques are too exerting for you. They are there to provide guidance and support throughout your prenatal journey.
What Are The Best Prenatal Exercises And Stretches?
You can carry out the following prenatal exercises at home. Ensure you follow your physiotherapist's advice and avoid exertion.
This exercise helps to open your chest and prevent you from developing round shoulders. You can do this exercise by;
- Nudge a stability ball near a wall or in a corner.
- Sit comfortably, keeping your back on the ball.
- Keep your hands by your side or clasp them behind your head.
- Rest your head on the ball and let your elbows expand to open your chest.
- Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times.
Calf stretches can prevent and relieve leg cramps during pregnancy. You can stretch by following these steps;
- Place a mat or rolled towel on the floor.
- Place the ball of your foot on the mat or rolled towel and your heel on the floor.
- Hold this position for 20 – 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Perform 3 – 5 sets for each side.
The butterfly pose is a hip-opening stretch. This exercise widens your hips and eases lower back pain. You can do this exercise by;
- Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to point out to each side.
- Grasp your feet or ankles and draw both heels close to your body as long as it is comfortable.
- Lean forward slightly and hold that position. Take big deep belly breaths.
- For a deeper stretch, press your thighs down with your hands or elbows to bring your knees closer to the ground.
- Hold that pose and focus on your stretch and breath.
Squats are a strengthening exercise that improves the range of motion in the core, glutes, hips, and pelvic muscles. You can do squats by;
- Stand with your feet facing slightly outward or forward. Ensure your hips are shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees and lower your body. Extend your arms in front for balance.
- Balance your weight on the balls of your feet and pause.
- Breathe and slowly rise back up.
Wall push-ups work your pectoral and tricep muscles. Your pectoral muscles are in front of the chest wall, and the triceps muscles are in the back of your upper arms. Wall push-ups train your core and strengthen your upper body.
You can do wall push-ups by;
- Place your arms on a wall, shoulder-width apart.
- Step your feet back to put your body in an inclined plank position.
- Slowly lower your chest. Ensure your body stays aligned.
- Exhale as you move back to the plank start position.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times
Motherhood is built on care, strength, and love. Your health during pregnancy has significant effects on your baby and postnatal health. Prenatal physiotherapy can ensure your health during and after pregnancy. The treatment is tailored to each stage of your pregnancy, ensuring you and your baby's safety.
However, avoid overexerting yourself and consistently communicate your concerns with your physiotherapist.