Urinary incontinence, prolapse and bowel problems are common complicators associated with having a baby and starting early in pregnancy with good education about how to prevent and or treat these conditions can mean the pregnancy is more comfortable and there are less post-partum issues. Seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist ante-natally to look at any potential risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction can be empowering. Factors such as age when delivering the first baby, evidence of a short perineal body, the height and ethnicity of the woman and other relevant factors are important to be aware of.
Hormones associated with pregnancy are important in softening the ligaments to enlarge the pelvic outlet (the birth canal), which assists with a vaginal delivery. However, this softening of the ligaments can sometimes be associated with pelvic and low back pain for the pregnant woman and other musculo-skeletal problems can also emerge through the pregnancy.
Treatment during pregnancy includes bladder and bowel education, PFMT advice, assessment of back and other joint pain and advice regarding management of rectus diastasis (a separation of the abdominal muscles) common in pregnancy. The practice also sells a range of maternity corsets and belts which your physiotherapist will fit you with if you need extra support.