I would like to advocate for our pregnant Mom’s out there who may be experiencing pain, incontinence, and/or constipation. These are common but NOT normal! There are many approaches that can be implemented during pregnancy to minimize these symptoms. If these things are left to just magically disappear after the baby is delivered, the chances are significantly higher to develop a chronic dysfunction or pain cycle. It is much more challenging to resolve symptoms at this stage than if they are addressed right away. Pregnant Mom’s deserve to enjoy pregnancy, as well as the opportunity for a healthy successful recovery.
The pregnant body undergoes so much change in a short amount of time (relatively speaking). From hormone and chemical changes to organ expansion and “rearranging”. It’s no wonder there are unpleasant side effects. However, we can support the systems to better withstand these changes and alleviate many of the negative symptoms. Too often, our pregnant Mom’s are told “ that’s to be expected and it will just go away after delivery”. Well, I am here to tell you we can do better! Pregnancy is a magical time to be embraced rather than just endured. Pelvic rehab can achieve just that. We will take a deeper dive into what pelvic rehab can offer the pregnant Mom.
Focus of pelvic rehabilitation during pregnancy:
Let’s talk about a major misconception about delivery preparation.
To Kegel or not to Kegel?
Pelvic health is so much more than just Kegel’s, but unfortunately the Kegel was the only game in town at first. Research has uncovered relationships between these systems that have debunked some of our old thinking and practices. Health science and pelvic rehabilitation have a lot more to offer our pregnant Mom’s at this stage. In fact, for delivery, Kegel’s are the opposite of what we want our bodies to be doing. A Kegel is closing and lifting of the pelvic floor muscles. For delivery, we need to open and lengthen these muscles. Basically, we need to get out of the way for baby and uterus to do their job’s. Time will be better spent learning how to connect with these muscles to
lengthen and open while generating pressure in that opened position. Another common error is for Mom to tense up when she is “pushing”. Establishing this mind body connection prior to GO TIME will pave the way for a smoother transition during delivery.
Pre and post surgical rehab is standard practice for every other surgery. Childbirth is no exception and we as a society need to stop treating it as such. We owe it to our pregnant Mom’s to teach them as much as possible before delivery, and then follow up with a pelvic rehab specialist in the “fourth trimester” for optimal healing. You don’t know what you don’t know, and I bet you will be blown away by what you never learned about because of the taboo nature of these system’s. Education and awareness will empower Mom’s for the momentous job that lies ahead!
A birth plan and supportive team you trust is paramount in setting yourself up for success. Start the conversation early about what your birth plan looks like and explore alternative possibilities in case of unexpected events. Find out what your options are for delivery positions and location may include (but not limited to):
Midwives, and doula’s are amazing resources to help navigate all these details you may not be aware of to consider nor focusing on. Specially trained pre/post-natal yoga, pilates, and exercise specialists are great supports throughout the human making process as well. Finding the right team of wellness professionals who are compassionate about you and your baby is what it’s all about.
Supporting the human making team!