Pregnancy and childbirth is a miraculous journey that brings about a multitude of changes in a woman’s body, both physically and emotionally. While it’s an exciting time, it can also be challenging.
One way women can make their experience smoother and more rewarding is by experiencing the benefits of pelvic floor therapy during pregnancy and after birth.
Pelvic floor therapy during pregnancy and childbirth can alleviate pain and discomfort, improve your overall emotional state, improve posture and strength, and enhance postpartum recovery.
In this article, we’ll outline these benefits, as well as discuss when you should consider pelvic floor therapy in the pregnancy journey.
Benefits of pelvic floor therapy during pregnancy
The pelvic floor plays a crucial role in supporting the growing baby and is subject to considerable strain during pregnancy. By engaging in pelvic floor physical therapy during pregnancy, you can expect:
1. Strengthening pelvic muscles
Pregnancy places significant pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to issues such as incontinence and pelvic pain. Pelvic floor therapy focuses on strengthening these muscles through targeted strengthening exercises, helping to prevent these problems.
By maintaining pelvic muscle strength, women can experience improved bladder control and reduced discomfort.
2. Alleviating pain and discomfort
Many pregnant women experience discomfort or pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips as their pregnancy progresses. Pelvic floor therapy includes exercises and stretches that can provide relief from these discomforts by promoting better alignment and muscle balance.
3. Preparing for childbirth
Childbirth is one of the most physically demanding experiences a woman can go through. Pelvic floor therapy equips expecting mothers with essential tools to prepare for labor and delivery.
Through various pelvic floor exercises and techniques, these therapies can help improve the pelvic floor’s flexibility and endurance, making it easier to push during childbirth.
4. Enhanced well-being
The physical changes during pregnancy can sometimes lead to emotional stress and anxiety. Pelvic floor therapy can help alleviate these feelings by promoting a sense of control and well-being. Feeling more in tune with your body and its changes can have a positive impact on your overall mental health.
Benefits of pelvic floor therapy after birth
Bringing a new life into this world is an incredible journey, but it can also take a toll on a woman’s body, especially on the pelvic floor. Many women experience postpartum challenges related to their pelvic health, such as urinary incontinence, discomfort during intimacy, or even pelvic pain. Fortunately, pelvic floor physical therapy offers a natural and effective solution to address these issues and help new moms regain their vitality and confidence.
1. Quicker postpartum recovery
While pelvic floor therapy offers numerous benefits during pregnancy, it doesn’t stop there. After childbirth, it can help with the recovery process. The strain and stress the pelvic floor undergoes during labor and delivery can lead to issues like pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence.
Pelvic floor therapy can help women regain strength, reduce the risk of postpartum issues, and enhance their overall quality of life.
2. Improved pelvic muscle strength
One of the most noticeable benefits of pelvic floor therapy after giving birth is the restoration of pelvic muscle strength. During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles go through immense stress, often leading to weakness or pelvic floor dysfunction.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist will choose exercises based on your individual needs to help rebuild these muscles, improving stability and control.
3. Enhanced Bladder Control
Postpartum urinary incontinence is a common concern for new mothers. Whether it’s sneezing, laughing, or simply standing up, involuntary leakage can be embarrassing and frustrating.
Pelvic floor therapy can significantly reduce or even eliminate urinary incontinence by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and teaching you how to control them effectively.
4. Faster recovery from birth trauma
For many women, birth may result in tearing, episiotomy, or other types of trauma to the pelvic region. Pelvic floor therapy can accelerate the healing process by promoting blood flow, reducing scar tissue, and minimizing pain and discomfort.
It can also help improve sexual function and comfort, which can be a crucial aspect of postpartum well-being.
5. Enhanced sexual function
After giving birth, it’s not uncommon for women to experience discomfort or pain during intercourse. Pelvic floor therapy can help address these issues by reducing muscle tension, improving circulation to the area, and enhancing overall comfort and sensitivity, thus making intimacy a more enjoyable experience.
Signs you could benefit from pelvic floor therapy during pregnancy and birth
Though we’ve seen many women experience a smoother and birth process by utilizing pelvic floor therapy, we believe that the following signs are particularly indicative that pelvic floor therapy may be a good fit for you:
- If you’ve got a high-risk pregnancy
- Preparing for multiples
- A history of pelvic floor issues
- If you’re experiencing pelvic pain before or after birth
- If you’re experiencing lower back pain before or after birth
- If you’ve had incontinence or leakage
- If you’re preparing for labor
- Postpartum symptoms
- Episiotomy, trauma, perineal tearing
- Urinary incontinence before or after birth
Seek pelvic floor therapy
The benefits of pelvic floor therapy during the birth process are undeniable, and pelvic floor therapy doesn’t have to be embarrassing or invasive.
It’s a powerful tool for postpartum recovery that can help new moms regain their confidence, strength, and overall well-being.
Whether you’re dealing with urinary incontinence, pain, or simply looking to optimize your pelvic health, pelvic floor therapy offers a safe, effective, and non-invasive solution that can help you embrace motherhood with greater comfort and confidence.
So, if you’re a new mom considering postpartum care, don’t overlook the incredible advantages that pelvic floor therapy can bring to your life.