Pre & Postnatal Physio Care
Here are some tips on postnatal physio and general physical wellbeing to help prevent injury:
We offer pre & postnatal physio services, here are some helpful tips and information to help you through. Don’t forget we are always here to help
Support your pelvis by keeping both feet on the ground with equal weight distribution between right and left side. Avoid activities requiring single leg balance.
Be more careful when lifting – allow people to help you with shopping bags etc. Avoid bending and lifting at the same time, i.e. lifting a heavy box from floor level. Carrying things close to the body at chest height is advised.
Exercising works wonders for you and for baby but don’t overdo it – you need your energy for baby’s growth and development. Walking, swimming and specialised antenatal yoga are all good options. Avoid high-level sports especially in the 3rd trimester as the likes of running and weight lifting promotes tight pelvic floor and abdominals which you want to help relax for a smoother labour! Find the right balance of feeling active, strong and supple but most importantly be able to relax. Remember we are all different so 15 minutes can be enough for some whilst others need 45 minutes. Avoid an increase in your core temperature as research shows this can harm the baby.
If you do require some advice – ask us! Physiofamily can help pregnancy aches and pains by providing support belts for the pelvis, massage, dry needling techniques, exercise prescription and advice. If Physiofamily feels you require further assessment or treatment we can refer you onto other health practitioners. You can self-refer to Physiofamily for postnatal physio services – no need to see the GP. Please click here for more information on our postnatal physio services & physiotherapy services.
Learn to relax. A great starting point is diaphragmatic breathing which calms the nervous system, nourishes our body and is great for overall health. This is the way we should almost always be breathing. With regards to pregnancy, diaphragmatic breathing is beneficial for remaining calm during labour, managing discomfort and remaining calm in times of stress once baby arrives.
After your birth, have some large pads at the ready! You’ll need these of course for bleeding but in addition, have some liners in the fridge or freezer and dab them in witch hazel gel to sooth the perineum. Pop the soothing liner on top of the large pad. Do this for every pad change for at least 2 days to help the inflammation (If in freezer ensure pad has thawed a little as the last thing you want is an ice burn!).
Possible injuries after the birth of your baby are:
Abdominal tears (there are varying grades of separation which can be assessed by Physiofamily).
Vaginal prolapse (this will require specialist assessment and treatment).
Tearing of the perineum/pelvic floor muscles. (Grade 3 tearing will require specialist assessment and treatment). Minor tears can be treated with time and exercises – some may need specialist treatment i.e. scar massage.
Pubic symphysis pain.
Back or neck pain.
Weakness in the pelvic floor.
Treatment for all of the above should include pelvic floor retraining (C-sections included). However injured or not every woman should give her pelvic floor muscles attention! After all, these little muscles support our pelvis and spine, prevent incontinence, tone our tummy, allow us to return to sport safely, reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, increase confidence/self-esteem, maintain satisfactory sex and prevent vaginal prolapse. The list goes on and on.
Once the inflammation of birthing has settled (3 days-6 weeks) prioritise tuning into your pelvic floor.
A great starting point is every time you lift something i.e. baby or kettle or bag – lift your pelvic floor.
LIFT ANYTHING = LIFT PELVIC FLOOR
Posture is also an aspect of our health we can forget about once too busy with the baby. Good posture supports healthy alignment of the whole body. You will spend an increased amount of time in a bent position looking after a baby and child. This cannot be avoided but here are some ways to counteract this to maintain a healthy spine.
Use a change table.
Ensure the height of your pram is suitable for your body.
Sit in a supportive chair when breastfeeding or lie down once you and baby have the hang of it.
Avoid crossing your legs to support baby – use a pillow instead.
Due to carrying and constantly lifting my very heavy baby, I aggravated an old spinal injury which was getting progressively worse until I came across the Family Physio clinic whilst out walking one day in my neighbourhood. I have had ongoing treatment with Family Physio and after very limited movement and much pain initially, I now have mobility, very little pain and a successful management plan. Meeting Susan was a godsend. Not only is she warm and friendly, but fun, knowledgeable and extremely professional.My back is healing. James & Susan know their stuff!Carey Lord