Prenatal – Are You Ready For Delivery?

Exercise during pregnancy has proven to help reduce your chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy. Exercise also decreases the chance that you will require a c-section or forceps during delivery. And women who have exercised during pregnancy have shorter labors and that will definitely be of help to you!

Physiotherapy Can Help!

  • Reduce Back Pain to make you more exercise comfortable
  • Prepare your body for lifting and feeding a newborn
  • Strengthen core and pelvic floor in preparation for delivery
  • Teach correct pushing techniques for delivery
  • Provide a safe exercise routine for pre and postpartum

Postpartum – Are You Exercise Ready?

  1. Curl Up Test
    Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slowly lift your head and shoulders up off the floor keeping your chin tucked in.
  2. Leg Lift Test
    Lie on your back with your legs straight. Lift one leg up off the ground about 2 inches.

During each test, check for the following:

  • Do you have back or pubic pain with these tests?
  • Try to feel the borders of the (rectus abdominus) muscles along the middle of your tummy. Is there a ʻsoftʼ gap or separation of these muscles?
  • Do you see any bulging or doming of your abdomen?
Rectus Abdominus Test

Rectus Abdominus Test

If any of the above occurs, see a physiotherapist for a complete assessment of your abdominal and/or pelvic floor muscles before beginning to exercise.

The Fit To Deliver program focuses on three principles:

  • Prevention – helping to reduce the chances of back pain, effects of poor posture and diastasis recti (the separation of abdominal muscles that can sometimes happen in pregnancy).
  • Preparation – helps to strengthen the muscles women need in labour and the upper body strength needed for caring for a newborn.
  • Restoration – if a woman exercises during the pregnancy, she will have an easier time regaining pre-pregnancy shape.

 

About Physiotherapy after Delivery

If you had a vaginal or a caesarean birth, your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles have been stretched and possibly damaged and it is essential to get them working well again. While your goal may be to lose your pregnancy weight gain and restore your figure, how you do this is important since some kinds of exercise can create back pain, difficulty controlling urine or stool or dropping of the uterus and other pelvic organs. Knowing when and how to begin is important. Your body will heal on its own, and by knowing what is normal, and what is not, you can determine if you are at risk for further problems and if you need some help. A physiotherapist can help guide you through this very important time of your life.