Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage Therapy
Physical therapy and prenatal massage therapy can be very helpful for maintaining a healthy level of physical activity during pregnancy. It can assist with managing and solving many of the physical challenges of pregnancy. It can also be a great resource for preparing for birth and postpartum recovery.
Physical therapy can be beneficial for addressing many different issues during pregnancy. Read on for how physical therapy and prenatal massage therapy can fit into the progressive stages of pregnancy –
- Designing a safe and effective exercise routine. There are many benefits to being physically active during pregnancy.
- Decrease the impact of chronic injuries. Many of the aches and pains of pregnancy are actually related to previous injuries that are simply exacerbated by pregnancy. This is the time to resolve these chronic concerns.
- Addressing pelvic girdle pain. Pubic symphysis pain, sacroiliac pain, sciatica, hip pain, and low back pain may be common in pregnancy but that doesn’t mean YOU need to suffer. Physical therapy treatment can reduce and eliminate these common aches and pains during pregnancy
- Addressing pelvic floor symptoms such as incontinence or pelvic pain. While these symptoms can be addressed at any time, doing so while pregnant helps to minimize symptoms during pregnancy and in the post partum period
- Encouraging optimal fetal positioning for birth. Reducing muscle tension around the pelvic girdle can allow baby to settle head down and in the ideal position prior to the start of labor. This helps to reduce concerns about breech presentation or “back labor”
- Using biofeedback for birth preparation. Using biofeedback sensors to determine pelvic muscle tone in various positions can be used to help determine good positions for pushing prior to birth
- Education on abdominal and pelvic floor care during birth and early post partum. It can be very helpful to know what to expect regarding the time line of post partum recovery and what exercises are safe and beneficial in the first few weeks post partum
Physical therapy can also be very beneficial for addressing issues post partum. These can include:
- Addressing upper back and neck pain related to newborn feeding and carrying. Manual soft tissue work as well as education on good positioning techniques for feeding and carrying can help to alleviate these post partum concerns.
- Addressing diastasis recti and restoring abdominal muscle function and strength. Every woman should have at least one session of physical therapy to assess the coordination and control of the abdominal muscles and be given instruction on how best to begin to regain the function of the abdominal muscles.
- Resolving incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms. Physical therapy can significantly decrease incontinence and pelvic floor symptoms such as prolapse.
- Providing scar tissue release for perineal tears and C-section scars. Even just one session of scar tissue release can significantly reduce the pain associated with tears and incisions.
- Guidance in returning to more intensive physical activity and sports. This is the best time to focus on form and technique in preparation for returning to the activities you love.