ChatGPT Prenatal and Postpartum Physical Therapy Benefits

Pregnancy brings significant changes to a woman's body, often causing discomfort and pain, such as lower back pain, pelvic pain, and general abdominal weakness. Physical therapy can effectively manage these issues, promoting a smoother pregnancy and aiding in postpartum recovery. Treatments include strengthening exercises, body mechanics education, and pain management techniques tailored to individual needs. Postpartum physical therapy also addresses issues like pain during intimacy and scar tissue management. Personalized physical therapy can significantly improve the overall experience during and after pregnancy. TLC Physical Therapy in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan offers specialized care to support women through these changes.

Jason Lamendola PT

6/7/20242 min read

Introduction

Congratulations! Having recently learned that you are pregnant, you are probably feeling a wide range of emotions. Whether this is your first time, the second, or even the third, it’s important to understand that significant changes will occur in your body during this period. Jason Lamendola PT and the team at TLC Physical Therapy go through a few key points about Physical Therapy can play a major role in managing these changes and ensuring a smoother pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

What Changes Does Your Body Experience During Pregnancy?

As the baby grows, you'll experience rapid postural changes due to weight gain and increased ligament flexibility caused by fluctuating hormone levels. These changes can lead to higher muscular tension as your muscles work to maintain stability in your continually changing body.

Medical research shows that between 50% and 90% of expectant mothers experience lower back and/or pelvic-region pain. While many women find that this pain fades after giving birth, over one-third still experience pain a year later. Physical therapy (PT) has been shown to alleviate these pregnancy-related pains and improve the body’s capacity for a simpler, more seamless pregnancy and delivery.

Common Pregnancy-Related Pains and How PT Can Help

Physical therapy helps address a wide range of issues during and after pregnancy, including:

  • Lower back pain

  • Pelvic region pain

  • General abdominal weakness

  • Headaches

  • Intercourse pain

  • Constipation

  • Blocked/plugged milk ducts

  • Insomnia problems

  • Shoulder/neck ache

  • Tailbone pain

  • Bowel and urinary leakages

  • Painful scars from C-sections and episiotomies

  • Prevention of bed rest complications

Physical Therapy During Pregnancy

It’s natural to experience different pains and discomforts throughout your body as it adjusts to the ever-changing shape and weight of your growing baby. Physical therapists can assist pregnant mothers in managing these pains and educate them on ways to avoid similar problems in the future. Throughout the third trimester, back pains are more frequent due to hormones that increase joint laxity, putting more strain on the pelvis muscles and the back. Other issues may arise from the baby’s weight pressing on ligaments or nerves, causing discomfort in parts of the legs and/or abdomen.

PT treatments for these pregnancy-related pains and discomforts include learning and adopting appropriate body mechanics and posture, practicing suitable sleeping positions, bracing or applying physical pressure to the abdomen, exercising to strengthen the lower back and pelvis, and teaching healthy sleeping positions.

Labor and Delivery Preparations

Physical therapists help expectant mothers, especially those with previous C-sections or episiotomy scars, prepare for the delivery process. They educate them about physical methods, perineal massage, and changing positions to help alleviate pain and reduce the risk of tearing.

Physical Therapy After Pregnancy

After delivery, whether naturally or through a C-section, many women experience abdominal and pelvic aches and pains. Physical therapists use various methods to resolve these issues, such as scar tissue work, pelvic floor repair, and core stability training.

Pain during intimacy may also occur for mothers who have recently delivered. Physical therapy offers numerous treatment modalities to help restore their pelvis and body so they can return to enjoying intercourse.

Final Thoughts

Every pregnancy is unique, as is the postpartum recovery that follows. A professional physical therapist will examine you personally and determine what your body needs. Tailored treatments will yield greater results, ensuring a smoother and more effective recovery process.

If you're experiencing pregnancy-related pains or discomforts, or if you want to ensure a smoother postpartum recovery, schedule a consultation with TLC Physical Therapy. Our committed team in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan is here to cater to your specific needs. Visit our website or contact us today for more information.