We are already 35 weeks pregnant (as of today)! I am not even sure how it is possible for time to be going by so quickly. So far I am still feeling pretty good. Some minor pregnancy discomforts but overall just excited about the next couple of weeks.
This past week we met with the FABULOUS Celeste Bouffard, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist to have our Pelvic Floor checked and to learn some techniques to strengthen it before labour begins. It was a very intimate appointment, as there is a internal exam component but Celeste was so professional and easy going that it didn’t even phase me.
I had a few questions for Celeste to answer on how exactly Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help you during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. She was happy to answer them for me :).
Question: How Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help You in Labour and Delivery?
Answer: Research has shown that Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help get you ready for the second stage of labour (the pushing phase) in regards to the sensations you might feel. By doing some pelvic floor relaxation techniques can make expectant moms more comfortable with the sensation of their tissue stretching. This helps in not pushing too quickly during labour and reducing any possible tearing.
Pelvic Floor Physio can also help in decreasing the length of the second stage of labour (pushing). By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles help when it comes to moving baby down during delivery.
Question: How Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help You During Pregnancy?
Answer: There are many ways it can help during pregnancy. By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can reduce incontinence or bowel issues during pregnancy and postpartum. It can decrease low back or pelvic pain as well.
During your prenatal assessment the physiotherapist checks your back looking at alignment and mobility. The assessment also includes palpating and looking at connective tissues, external observation, and internal exam to see what is going on in the pelvic floor muscles.
After the assessment the therapist is able to guide you through some exercises to address the issues related to pelvic floor weakness or tension. They also discuss the ways you can prepare your body for the demands of the postpartum period (i.e. posture, retraining your pelvic floor and core, self-care etc.)
Question: How Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help You After The Baby Has Arrived?
Answer: There are a lot of ways that it can help after the baby has arrived, including decreasing incontinence or bowel issues (same as in pregnancy), and rehabilitating the muscles after the strain that was put on them during the delivery. It can also improve your core strength and function, minimizing the long terms effects of things like prolapse.
Pelvic Floor Physio can help recovery from c-section or episiotomy. It can also help with sexual functioning (increasing sexual satisfaction and lessening any pain with intercourse).
At about 6 weeks postpartum your physiotherapist will do an assessment to check for any pelvic floor weakness or rectus diastasis.
As of right now the plan is to for me to see Celeste about 6 weeks after the baby has arrived, unless of course something comes up in the next few weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how Pelvic Floor Physio can help me as I prepare for labour. I am doing my exercises every night to help in preparing for babies arrival!
If you are interested in getting more information you can check out Celeste’s website HERE.
Her services are covered under many benefits, so it is definitely worth looking into see if you are covered! You can also pay privately if that is easier. 🙂
Did you use a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist during your pregnancy? Are you thinking about using a one in your current pregnancy? We would love to hear from you and hear your experiences, you can comment below or over on our Facebook or Instagram.