Physiotherapy for Labour and Delivery
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes an incredible physical transformation. Her cardiovascular system readjusts to nearly double the amount of blood pumping through her body and her kidneys work overtime to excrete both her and babies waste. Her respiratory rate rises to compensate for her increased need for oxygen. The ligaments in her pelvis loosen and relax, and of course, her abdomen stretches and expands, displacing her stomach, intestines and other adjacent organs in order to accommodate the growing baby. With all of this action going on, it’s no wonder that many pregnant women complain of pain and discomfort, especially during their second and third trimester.
If you are experiencing discomfort in your pregnancy, you are not alone. According to N2 Physical Therapy, a study published in the Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics found that 68% of women experience low back pain during part or all of their pregnancy. Another study published by Advances in Paediatrics reported that 50% of women experience moderate to severe pelvic pain. Physiotherapy is a great option to address and correct the musculoskeletal discomforts of pregnancy, as well as prepare for labour and delivery.
Every woman has a unique anatomy and body type that will affect her labour and delivery. A specially trained physiotherapist at Meadowlands Physiotherapy can assess your personal needs and work with you to achieve relief from discomfort and prepare your body for birth. At Meadowlands, we can also teach you positions and rotations that will help you in labour and delivery to engage proper muscles, address pain and prevent injury.
Try out the following yoga poses to help alleviate discomfort and stretch your muscles:
This pose helps to lengthen pelvic floor muscles and ease discomfort in the pelvis and hips. To try it out, kneel down resting your bottom on your heels, then lean forward slowly and walk your arms out, keeping them stretched out long in front of you and your heart above your hips. Breathe deeply. You also can rest your elbows on the ground in front of you with your hands supporting your head. You can accommodate your growing belly by spreading your knees farther apart to create space and sitting up higher if bending is uncomfortable.
This pose helps to relax and lengthen the pelvic floor muscles and stretch the perineum. To try it out, stand with your legs wider than your hips and slowly squat down as far as is comfortable with your hands pressed together in front of you, or resting on your thighs for support.
This pose helps to ease overall discomfort and decrease lower back pain. To try it out, assume position on your hands and knees. Exhale and round your back as you tuck your chin toward your chest. Then inhale and gently arch your back downward and look up at the sky.
At Meadowlands Physiotherapy, we have skilled physiotherapists who can help you prepare your mind and body for labour and delivery, including assisting with pelvic health. Contact us today to get started!