While many pregnant people are happy to carry their bundles of joy, there's no denying pregnancy and delivery are hard on the body. Luckily, there are many things you can do to minimize the hardship your body undergoes before and after the birth of your child, and opting for physical therapy (PT) is one of them. Here are two ways PT can help.
Labor and Delivery Prep
When a baby is ready to be born, it moves into the birth canal where it's subsequently pushed through the vagina into the world. The baby's journey from the womb to the exit can put strain on the mother's back and pelvis, which can lead to long-term damage and pain depending on the situation.
Physical therapy can minimize the stress on the mother's musculoskeletal system while also easing the delivery process in a couple of ways. First, the PT professional can prescribe a variety of exercises that strengthen back and pelvic muscles, improving their strength and resiliency, so you can push better and recover faster.
Second, the physical therapist can evaluate how your body functions and suggest the best labor and delivery positions for you. For instance, if you suffer from chronic back pain, the therapist may suggest resting on your hands and knees between contractions to alleviate the pressure on your back.
The exact type of prep work done will, of course, depend on your needs and delivery goals, so it's best to discuss these with the physical therapist at your first appointment so he or she can design a program to help you achieve the outcome you want.
Restore Bodily Functions
Your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy and delivery that can be difficult to bounce back from. Thus, the goal of physical therapy will be to help restore function that may have been lost and promote the healing process. For instance, the therapist may prescribe contraction exercises that can reduce pain in the pelvis and tailbone, alleviate swelling, and minimize incontinence.
Physical therapy can be immeasurably helpful if you sustain an injury during delivery. It's not unusual for pregnant people to strain their pelvic muscles during vaginal birth and some folks have even experienced pelvic prolapse. While traumatizing, these issues can be treated with medication, surgery, and well-timed physiotherapy.
There are many other ways physical therapy can help you before and after the birth of your child. Contact a local specialist, such as Dominion Physical Therapy, for information on how PT can benefit you.