Going through a pregnancy presents significant physical and biochemical challenges to your body. Fatigue, joint pain, weight gain and depressed mood are just some of the symptoms you’ll experience. Working with your physiotherapist in the following areas can help you manage these symptoms and make your pregnancy more comfortable and enjoyab;e.
Medical Exercise Therapy
Exercise is important during pregnancy. It helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness and retain a degree of muscle strength & flexibility, all of which are beneficial during labour, in the postnatal period (after birth) and have positive effects on your newborn. Exercise can also help to reduce the amount of back and pelvic pain experienced, as well as improve breathing awareness and control.
Due to the increased demands placed on the cardiovascular system by the body during pregnancy, women with particular issues in their medical history should consider medical exercise intervention during pregnancy. The main aim of this is to achieve the benefits of exercise while ensuring safety of mother and baby. Women with the following issues before pregnancy should consider medical exercise therapy:
- Women with Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- History of Hypertension / High Blood Pressure
- Women who are significantly overweight or obese
- Women with heart or lung disease
At our clinic, Medical Exercise means to engage in exercise prescribed and supervised by a chartered, experienced physiotherapist. We monitor your heart rate constantly throughout the session so you complete a sufficient amount of exercise to gain benefits while not putting yourself or your baby at risk. We also repeatedly check your oxygen levels throughout and review your blood pressure at the beginning and end of sessions. Medical Exercise is a safe and sure way of getting the exercise you and your baby need to be as healthy as possible.
Treatment for Aches & Pains
Increased weight and hormonal changes, which occur naturally during pregnancy, lead to increased ligament laxity, which in turn causes joint hypermobility. Ligaments are tough, tight bands of fibrous tissue which give your joints stability and restrict movement that might be harmful to your joints. When these ligaments loosen, aches and pains in the joint and surrounding muscle is an inevitable side effect.
Therapeutic massage from a physiotherapist can benefit you in a number of ways. The release of endorphins result in an improvement in mood and reduced feelings of depression. You should experience reduced back pain and increased flexibility. The night after you might experience improved sleep and in general feel more relaxed. You should feel decreased anxiety and stress, and may receive relief from headaches caused by muscle tension around the shoulders.
It is important to note that I recommend AGAINST seeking professional prolonged massage therapy during the first trimester, due to the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. I also advise AGAINST seeking deep massage techniques in the legs, particularly in people with low activity levels, as this can cause the release of a blood clot.
In my next pregnancy article I’ll be talking about how physiotherapy can help you after receiving a Cesarean Section during labour, and what strengthening exercises you can do at home to best prepare your body for pregnancy and delivery.
Book an Appointment
If you’re interested in booking a consultation with me (Sean Flynn), a chartered physiotherapist, then don’t hesitate to give me a call, text or email (contact details below).