Pregnancy is an incredible experience, but it can also be tough on your body, particularly on your pelvic floor. As your baby grows, the pressure on your pelvic floor increases, and it can lead to problems like incontinence and pelvic pain. This is where pelvic floor physical therapy comes in. Pelvic floor PT is a safe, non-invasive way to help strengthen and support your pelvic floor muscles before, during, and after pregnancy. Here’s why you should consider it as part of your prenatal and postpartum care.
1. Improved bladder control: One of the primary benefits of pelvic floor PT is that it can help reduce or eliminate urinary incontinence, which is common during and after pregnancy. Your PT will teach you exercises to improve your bladder control, as well as help you identify triggers that cause leaks. By learning how to strengthen and relax your pelvic floor muscles, you’ll be able to better control your bladder and feel confident in your daily activities.
2. Reduced pelvic pain: Pregnant women can experience pelvic pain due to the pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor PT can help alleviate pain by stretching and relaxing these muscles. Your PT will also teach you exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles to avoid pain caused by pelvic instability.
3. Enhanced sexual health: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your sexual health, and in some cases, negatively. Pelvic floor PT can help increase blood flow to your pelvic area and get your body ready to enjoy sex. It can also treat some sexual dysfunctions that may arise after pregnancy.
4. Preparation for labor and delivery: Your pelvic floor is essential during childbirth. If you have strong and flexible pelvic floor muscles, it can help you have a smoother delivery. Pelvic floor PT can help prepare your pelvic muscles by teaching you proper breathing techniques, pelvic movement, and building strength to push effectively during delivery.
5. Postpartum healing: After giving birth, your body needs time to recover fully. During your PT sessions, your therapist will help you manage your recovery by assessing your pelvic floor muscles and teaching you breathing exercises and abdominal strengthening. Mums have reported shorter postpartum recovery times when they have undergone pelvic floor PT.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a valuable tool for promoting healthy pregnancies and postpartum recoveries. With this therapy, you can enjoy a reduction in pain, a more comfortable pregnancy for you, better bladder control, and even a better sex life. Moreover, the benefits continue long after labor and delivery, as pelvic floor therapy can help with postpartum healing and recovery. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your pelvic floor health during pregnancy and whether pelvic floor PT is right for you.