WOMENS HEALTH+

Pregnancy and Postpartum

Pregnancy

The female body goes through many changes during pregnancy. The physical changes include but are not limited to pelvic floor weakening, abdominal muscle stretching and postural changes due to a change in weight distribution around the body. There is also an increase in musculoskeletal complaints such as lower and upper back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.

 

However, the great news is movement and clinical exercise can help prevent, manage or treat all of these changes! 

Targeted exercise, through all stages of pregnancy, has many benefits and we are here to help tailor and design a program specific to you to ensure your body manages these changes with ease and modifications are made at the correct times. We will also help guide you back to your desired activity level once your baby arrives.

Pilates and Pelvic Floor Training

The most popular form of pelvic floor training will also encourage a quicker recovery following birth (both vaginal and c-section), and enable you to get back into the activities you enjoy sooner.

One of the most popular forms of exercise we use for women throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period is Pilates. One of the most common questions we get asked by women is “Is Pilates safe?” The answer is simply, yes. One of the reasons why Pilates is so effective is due to the significant focus on activation of the Transverse Abdominus (TA) and Pelvic Floor muscles throughout all of the exercises. A strong TA and pelvic floor are the key muscles responsible for supporting the pelvis and spine, and are often left weakened after pregnancy and birth.

Strengthening the TA and pelvic floor is highly recommended prior to falling pregnant and throughout gestation, to prevent lower back and pelvic girdle pain, incontinence and prolapse. Focusing on TA and pelvic floor training will also encourage a quicker recovery following birth (both vaginal and c-section) and enable you to get back into the activities you enjoy sooner. Women are encouraged to get straight back into their basic TA and pelvic floor rehabilitation when given the “all clear” by their treating team following birth, then progress back to supervised, tailored Pilates sessions during the post-natal recovery period.

Changes in postural loads are another inescapable part of pregnancy, its no accident that between 60-75% of women experience lower back or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.  These altered body positions can result in ongoing back pain well beyond the post-natal period if not corrected. Women may also experience joint pain, and episodes of instability due to ligamentous laxity, due to altered hormones. All of these changes can occur due to the growing baby, breast size, and increased physiological demands on the body. While some of these changes will resolve post pregnancy some conditions often persist well beyond the postnatal period if not managed correctly.

How can BodySmart Health+ help?

At BodySmart, we focus on strengthening the TA, pelvic floor and  the postural muscles placed under increased stress and strain during pregnancy, helping you to prepare your body to bounce back and recover quickly postpartum.
Our Women’s Health Exercise Physiologists are equipped with specialised knowledge to ensure you can exercise safely throughout your pregnancy, and help prevent some of the wear and tear, pain and instability to make your pregnancy progress as smoothly as possible.

Contact a Bodysmart Women+ Specialist to discuss how we can best help you