At Winmalee Women’s Health Physiotherapy we can assist in the management of various conditions affecting women during pregnancy and the post natal period. These conditions include back pain and pain in the pelvic region (pelvic girdle pain), carpel tunnel syndrome, separation of the tummy muscles (rectus abdominus diastasis) and bladder weakness (urinary incontinence).
Back pain and pain in the pelvic region (pelvic girdle pain)
During pregnancy our body produces more of the hormones Oestrogen, Progesterone and Relaxin. These hormones are vital in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The increased hormone levels cause the joints in your body to be more mobile (or stretchy). This can sometimes cause pain, particularly in the low back and pelvic region.
As well as increased hormone levels our posture changes during pregnancy to accommodate for a growing belly. This can place an increased strain on our spine which can result in back pain.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
During pregnancy we have increased fluid levels in our bodies. This fluid can pool in our hands causing them to become swollen. This swelling can put more pressure on the nerves in our hands, causing pins and needles and numbness.
Separation of the tummy muscles
As your baby grows your tummy muscles need to stretch in order to make more room for a growing baby. In some women the muscles of the abdominal wall will separate. Most women will experience some form of separation during pregnancy. It is important to correct this separation after the birth of your baby so that your back and pelvis are well supported in order to prevent back pain.
Bladder Weakness (Urinary Incontinence)
One in three women who have had a baby will suffer from incontinence. It is not only having a vaginal birth that puts you at risk but women who have had a caesarean section are also at risk of urinary incontinence. During pregnancy your pelvic floor muscles need to work harder than normal due to the growing weight of the baby, placenta and increased fluid levels. This increased weight can make it more difficult to tighten your pelvic floor muscles, especially when you cough, sneeze, lift or do exercise, resulting in being unable to hold in urine. Having a vaginal birth can also weaken these muscles, particularly if you had a large baby (over 4kg), a long pushing phase (greater than 2 hours), a tear or an episiotomy (cut) or an assisted delivery (forceps or vacuum).