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Pregnancy and Physical Therapy

benefits of pregnancy and exercise

Every woman and pregnancy is unique. During this time, there are significant hormonal and physiological changes that occur within the body. These changes may be accompanied by a myriad of factors including: increased functional demands, decreased energy, pelvic pain, sciatica, and other changes in the body’s biomechanics that may leave us seeking care to continue to thrive throughout our pregnancy. As women’s health physical therapists, we work to assess your specific physical therapy needs during your pregnancy and develop an individualized treatment plan to address your symptoms and improve overall function.

How can physical therapy help?

As functional movement specialists, we assess each woman at all stages of pregnancy and work to improve her current issues and function. We look forward to partnering with you in continued dialogue to ensure the most safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.

At i’move we offer:

  • One on one assessment and treatment with your physical therapist
  • 3D functional movement screen
  • Postural education for sleep and everyday activities as baby grows
  • Exercise modifications as needed
  • Functional movement training (i.e. baby wearing, carrying/lifting a car seat, squatting with load, etc)
  • Manual therapy
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Trigger point Release
  • Home exercise program
  • Running Analysis
  • Telehealth visits (case dependent)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is back pain or hip pain normal with pregnancy?

It is very common to feel back and hip pain during pregnancy. Many changes occur throughout each stage of pregnancy, so pain can be a common issue, but there are many things we can do to reduce your pain and help improve your quality of life during pregnancy.

Is peeing my pants normal with activity?

No! An increased urge to urinate is normal at any stage of pregnancy but actual leaking is not and there is help! Hormones play a huge role in these changes but so do mechanics of movement as well as behavior associations. Physical therapy addresses all of these possibilities and can greatly improve and/or make this symptom disappear!

Can I get hurt exercising during pregnancy?

Like anytime in life, there’s always a risk for injury depending on the demand of the task and if the body is in an optimal state to handle the load or stress placed upon it. Research shows that during pregnancy you have an increased laxity due to hormonal changes in certain ligaments. This is necessary for the body to adapt for growth of the baby and delivery; however, ligament laxity and injury are not synonymous. If appropriate, exercise is still highly recommended during pregnancy to help the body adapt to everyday activity demands. One of our women’s health therapists can work with you in answering these questions and suggesting exercise modifications as needed throughout your pregnancy.

How can I prevent from getting diastasis recti during pregnancy?

The answer is you can’t. Diastasis recti is a thinning (not separation which it is commonly perceived as) of the connective tissue in the abdominal wall as the baby grows and is a very normal issue with every pregnancy. It has a function and purpose to create space for the baby as well as to manage the increased pressure in the abdominal cavity due to the baby/increased size of the uterus. Check out our post-partum page and links to see more discussion on this for what is normal/not normal post delivery and how a physical therapist can help you return to all your movement needs post baby.

What should I expect on my first visit?

Your first visit will be a 40 minute evaluation with a women’s health physical therapist. We will begin by getting to know you, listening to your goals, your medical history, and any specific challenges that you are facing. We will then move onto the physical examination, including assessment of body movement, functional mechanics, posture, strength, fascial and muscle balance. We will recommend an individualized plan of care and discuss follow up visits, treatment, and home exercises.

What should I wear to my first physical therapy appointment?

Wear anything that you are comfortable in. Most women find that a pair of yoga pants or leggings are most comfortable or other movement friendly clothing.

Will I have a private space?

Yes, we have a private women’s health room that is a space for just us gals.

How often do I need to be seen?

We will discuss a plan of care based on your unique situation; however, most recommended plans of care will be 1-2x/week.

Will I need an internal pelvic exam?

No, we do not perform internal assessments during pregnancy.

Areas of Expertise

Common conditions we treat:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Hip pain
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic pain
  • Restless legs
  • “Round ligament” pain
  • Varicose veins

Questions? Want to set up at appointment? Send us an email!

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