FAQs – Antenatal Physiotherapy

May 4, 2017 | By | Reply

What is ante-natal physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy during pregnancy is commonly known as ante-natal physiotherapy. Being pregnant doesn’t mean stopping your exercises. On the contrary, the correct exercise program can do wonders for you during pregnancy. It helps to prepare you for childbirth by strengthening your muscles and building endurance. Moreover, it helps in getting your body back in shape once the baby is born since pregnancy is a time of tremendous musculoskeletal, physical and emotional changes in a female.

What are the changes during pregnancy?

  • Weight gain of approx. 11kgs
  • Uterus becomes an abdominal organ rather than pelvic organ
  • Abdominal muscles are stretched
  • All joints become lax
  • Postural changes like rounding of shoulders & upper back, increased curvature of lower back, walking with wider base of support
  • Blood pressure decreases in early trimester, reaches its lowest level midway through pregnancy and rises gradually from mid pregnancy up to 6 weeks of delivery
  • Increased pressure on pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor is a sling of muscles, ligaments and sheet like tissues that stretch from pubic bone at front to tail bone behind its sometimes is compared to a trampoline as it can stretch in response to weight and bounce up again. Unlike a trampoline, however, if it bears weight for a long time, as it does during pregnancy, the muscles or tissues can become overstretched and weak, causing incontinence symptoms

What are the guidelines for exercises?

  • Check with your gynecologist before starting exercise.
  • Exercise with a prescription from a physiotherapist on the basis of evaluation.
  • Exercises should not exceed pre-pregnancy capacity.
  • Drink adequate fluids like water, coconut water, juices and light smoothies before, during, and after exercises.
  • Wear loose, comfortable, breathable clothing and supportive shoes.
  • Exercise in well-ventilated area.
  • Start with proper warm up and cool down.
  • Stop exercising if you get pain.
  • Don’t overdo things.
  • Exercises should have enough rest intervals.

When can a pregnant lady start exercising?

Exercises can be safely started after the first trimester under the supervision of a physiotherapist, after clearance from gynecologist.

When shouldn’t you exercise?

  • If you have acute infection or fever.
  • Intrauterine growth of fetus not appropriate as per gynecologist.
  • Miscarriage or premature labour.
  • Vaginal bleeding of any amount.
  • Abnormal placement of placenta.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • General weakness and fatigue.

What are some recommended exercises during pregnancy?

Exercises are prescribed on the basis of detailed evaluation done by a physiotherapist depending on your pre–pregnancy exercise capacity. The following are some safely recommended ones:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga and stretches
  • Pilates
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Breathing exercises
  • Light weight training
  • Postural exercises

Which exercises to avoid?

  • Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Horse riding
  • Cycling

What is the importance of physiotherapy during pregnancy?

Physiotherapy helps women tackle their aches and pains and prepares her for childbirth and labor. Women-focused physiotherapy works on improving body alignment and posture, teaching the correct use of muscles that support not only your back but pelvic floor, leading to a fit mom post-delivery. The mother is taught how to safely care for her baby without causing injury to her back, neck, shoulders

What is post-natal physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy exercises post pregnancy called post-natal physiotherapy For a normal delivery, it can start it by 4 weeks, and 6-8 weeks post a caesarean delivery. Consult your gynecologist before starting any post-natal exercise program. Some recommended ones are:

  • Pilates
  • Light weight training
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Pelvic floor exercises

We at PhysioRehab conduct specialized ante-natal and post-natal exercise programs for women keeping in mind their strength and fitness level. We also address their muscles, aches and pains and give them correct ergonomic advice.

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