Updated: Apr 14
The field of pelvic floor PT has come a long way. Even over the past few years, I've watched it bloom. It's something so many people (OBs, midwives, doulas, chiropractors, orthopedic PTs, pregnant people) are talking about and I am here for it.
But there's a major hole that I'm seeing in the discourse around perinatal care (there are many, but for the purpose of this article I'm limiting myself to one of them). I'm noticing that the idea of seeing a pelvic floor PT BEFORE childbirth has not yet caught on. In order to improve perinatal outcomes and postpartum recovery, to reduce suffering and improve the birthing experience, this is one big area for change.
I'm still hearing stories of people talking about taking care of their symptoms after they're done having babies. I'm still being told by patients that their OBs and midwives think it's unnecessary to seek care before birth. I'm still talking to people who are skeptical that there's any reason to bother ahead of time if they're feeling well.
There is so much that pelvic floor PT can help guide you through to help improve your experience throughout pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery.
Just like in all walks of life, maintaining a healthy status quo is easier than "fixing" a problem once it arises. You do not need to wait until sh*t hits the fan to help your body along possibly the coolest and wildest ride a human body is capable of enduring.
So how can a pelvic floor PT help you during pregnancy? Let's start with the research. Pelvic floor training during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the likelihood of and severity of urinary incontinence during pregnancy and following childbirth. Core training during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the likelihood and severity of diastasis recti postpartum.
But there is so much more that your pelvic floor PT can help you with during pregnancy, and so much more that we do here at Lady Bird PT, including:
Exercise modifications for a changing body with changing limitations and tolerance
Training your pelvic floor for a vaginal birth
Helping you prepare for a VBAC
Educating you on push preparation and ways to practice pushing
Discussing laboring and birthing positioning and the benefits and drawbacks of different options
Creating a plan for your postpartum recovery and return to exercise
Providing you with realistic timelines and expectations for recovery
Treating pain and symptoms as they arise rather than after childbirth
Our goal as providers is to make sure you feel supported throughout pregnancy and recovery. That's why we do what we do and why we're here.
For more on how to best train your body for birth, check out our Birth Prep Course.
If you have any questions about whether pelvic floor PT can help you reach your goals during pregnancy or in preparation for birth and recovery, contact us by calling 512-766-2649 or sending us a message here to schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation during which we can get to know you and talk through how we may be able to help.