How can a pelvic floor physical therapist help me during my pregnancy?

Aches and pains are common, but do not have to be your “normal” throughout pregnancy. If you have a provider on your medical team who dismisses your discomfort and/or tells you “that’s just what happens, you’re growing a baby,” I respectfully encourage you to find a new one, ASAP! Every mama deserves support from a pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT) from day one, AND you don’t have to wait to be in pain to seek out our help.

I LOVE connecting with patients during their pregnancies. There are so many things we work on together: breathing techniques for pelvic floor + abdominal activation, strength work, exercise recommendations for each trimester, belly wrap support, transfer and lifting techniques, etc…and as they enter week 34+ we begin education around perineal massage, pushing techniques, and what to expect in those early weeks postpartum.

For a lot of my prenatal patients, connecting with a PFPT is the first time they’ve had an opportunity to learn about their bodies, to understand the anatomy of their pelvic floors, to appreciate how much their bodies are doing, and gather tools to support their journeys.

Pregnancy is beautiful AND stressful on the human body. Each trimester has its own unique changes and challenges, and with the majority of maternal healthcare being baby-centered care, it leaves many expecting mothers with questions like:

  • Are certain aches and pains normal?
  • Doing what I’ve always done for exercise doesn’t feel good in my body, should I keep doing it anyway?
  • Is leaking or pelvic pain simply part of the course?
  • Can I be doing anything to set myself up for a smoother delivery and postpartum recovery?

And that’s just to name a few…

The good news is, Mama, you don’t have to answer these questions on your own, AND inviting a PFPT on to your medical team to answer these questions WITH you is invaluable. Plus, it helps you develop a relationship with a PFPT provider so that you already have your person to support you with your PP healing ♥️

Mamas, do you wish you had a PFPT to support you during your prenatal period? If you did, what did you find most helpful?